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r>f^HS*??*!' ' ) 





or THE 


B y 


Minifter of the Firft Church in Boston, New England. 





\Jn the one many Adaniy in his innocent fiat e. 

Page I 


On the one many Adam^ in his lapsed ft ate ; with the 
temptation that brought him into ity 64 


Of the pofterity of the one man, Adam^ as deriving 
exiftence from him, ?tot in his innocent, but 
hAVSEuftatey ' — 129 


Of the difference between the one man, Adamy in his 
innocent ft ate y and his pofterity defcendii^g from him' 
in his lapfed ftatCy 233 


Romans, Chap. V. from the 12th to the 20th 
Verfe, more efpecially thofe Words, '^ For 
that all have finned-*' and " by one mans difobe- 
dience, many were made /inner s,'* 250 




0?i the ont man^ Adam^ in his innoceiitjlate. 

MOSES, in his book of Genefis, gives 
us a plain, though concife, account of 
the creation of the firft man: and it is from 
this account, together with fome Scripture-paf- 
fagcs which may fcem to allude to ir^ and not 
from the principles of mere reafon, that we be- 
come capable of conceiving juftly of the ftate in 
which he was originally created. 

The Mofaic account of man> and his original 
ftate, I fhall place before the reader in its full 
view once for all, that he may be able the more 
readily to judge of the pertinency of what may 
be offered as reprefenting its juft contents. Ic 
is in thefe words : 

Genesis, Ghap. I. 
i6. " And God faid. Let us make man in our 
image, after our likenefs : and let him have 

B dominion 


dominion over the fifh of the fea, and over the 
fowl of the air> and over the cattle, and over 
all the earth, and over every creeping thing that 
creepeth upon the earth/* 

27. *' So God created man in his own image, 
in the image of God created he him : male and 
female created he them/' 

28» " And God blelfed them, and God faid 
unto them, Be fruitful and multiply, and re- 
plenifh the earth, and fabdue it, and have do- 
minion over the fifh of the fea, and over the 
fowl of the air, and over every living thing that 
moveth upon the earth/' 

29. *' And God faid. Behold, I have given 
you every herb bearing feed, which is upon the 
face of all the earth, and every tree in the which 
is the fruit of a tree yielding feed : to you it Ihall 
be for meat/* 

Genesis, Chap. II. 

7. *^ And the Lord formed man of the dufl of 
the ground, and breathed into his noflrils the 
breath of life : And man became a living foul/' 

S, " And the Lord God planted a garden eall- 
ward in Eden 5 and there put he the man whom 
he had formed/^ 

9, '' And out of the ground made the Lord 
God to grow every tree that is plcafant to the 
fight, and good^ for food : the tree of life alfo in 
the midH of the garden, and the tree of know- 
ledge of good and cvil/'^ 

1 j» « And 


15. " And the Lord God took the maiii and 
put him into the garden to drefs it, and to keep 

16. ** And the Lord God commanded the 
man, faying. Of every tree of the garden thou 
mayeft freely eat :" 

17. *' But of the tfee of the knowledge of 
good and evil, thou (hale not eat of itj for irt 
the day thou eateft thereof thou fhalt furely 

18. *' And the Lord God faid, it is not good 
that the man fhould be alone : I will make him 
an help meet for him." 

19. " And out of the ground the Lord God 
formed every beaft of the field, and every fowl 
of the air 5 and brought them unto Adam to fee 
what he would call them j and whatfocver Adam 
called every living creature^ that was the nam^ 

20. " And Adam gave names to all cattle, 
and to the fowl of the air, and to every bead of 
the field : but for Adam there wai not found an 
help meet for him." 

2 1 . *< And the Lord God caufed a deep fleep 
to fall upon Adam, and he flept : And he took 
one of his ribs, and clofed up the flelh inftead 

22. " And the rib, which the Lord God had 
taken from man, made he a woman, and brought 
her unto the man." 

B 2 23, « And 


2j. " And Adam faid, this is now bone of my 
bone, and flefh of my flefh : fhe fliall be called 
woman, becaufe (he was taken out of man/' 

24. ** Therefore fhall a man leave his father 
and his mother^ and fhall cleave unto his wife : 
and they fhall be one fiefli." 

25^ " And they were both naked, the man 
and his wife, and were not afhamed," 

From thefe words of Mofes, the following 
things eafily prefent riiemfelves to obfervation. 

1. The ^* diftinguifhing language," in which 
God is introduced, as fpeaking about the crea- 
tion of man. Pie only faid, relative to the other 
creatures, " let the waters and the earth bring 
them forth after their kind :" But, when he was 
about to make man, he is reprefented as fpeak-* 
wg in a quite different flyk, *' Let us make 
man." The other creatures, as truly as man,^ 
were made by God. His almighty word, and 
not any virtue there was in " in the waters," or 
in " the earth," called them into being. " The 
waters," and " the earth," are mentioned to point 
out the elements refpedively proper to thofe liv- 
ing creatures j or to fignify, that thofe of them 
who were to live in the waters> were formed by 
the creating hand of God out of this element ;. 
as thofe, who were to live on the earth, were 
made out of that : or, could any other 
given of the command to ^^ the waters," and ta 

« the 


«< the earth," to bring forth thofe living creatures, 
it cannot be fuppofed, that they were the pro- 
ducers of them. God only was the " agent" 
in their produflion, whatever ufe he might make 
of thefe elements in bringing them into exilj:- 

The peculiar manner, therefore, in which God 
is introduced as fpeaking concerning the creation 
of man, cannot be defigned to lead us into the 
thought, as though he was the maker of man, but 
not of the other creatures -, for he was as truly the 
Creator of them, as of him : but this diftinguilh- 
ing form of fpeecl> was rather intended to poinr 
out the « fuperipr excellency," of the wprkman- 
fhip God was now about to form. He advifes, 
takes counfel, as it were, with himfelf^ having 
it in view to make a creature of the higheft dig- 
nity and importance in this lower world, " Let 
vs make man." 

Some fuppofe there is, in thefe words, an ap- 
plication from the " Father" to the '^ Son," 
and to the " Spirit :" as it is faid of the " Son," 
that ^' all things were made by him, and with- 
out him was not any thing made that was made i" 
and of the ^' Spirit," that " he moved upon the 
face of the waters," in the beginning of the 
creation. I will not affirm, there is no founda- 
tion for this thought in this mode of didlion : 
neither would I fay, thofe are miftaken who fup- 
pofe it only a more aggrandifed manner of fpeak- 

5 .'5 




ing, fuited to the greater excellency of the work 
that was now in hand. 

11. Another thing obvioufly contained in the 
^ofaic account of man is, his " adlual pro- 
dudlion.'* Concerning this it is faid, in general, 
" God created man ,'' — '^ Male and female created 
he them *." If, by the term '^^ created," we 
underftand that '^ power,'* either as to its na- 
ture, or manner of exertion, which gave man his 
fsxiflence, we can have no idea of it, nor are ca- 
pable of having any, in the prefent flare of hu- 
man faculties. The meaning of it, therefore, as 
to us, can be only this, that God now brought 
man into being, not by the inftrumentality of 
fecond caufes, operating according to eftablilhed 
laws; but by an immediate a(ft of his own air 
mighty pov^er. 

The infpired Mofes, having fpoken in a ge- 
neral way concerning thp *^ creation of man,'^ 

• Some have ventared to fuggcft, frpm the manner cf fpeaking 
here ufed, that the body of man, upon his urft crcaiion, was 
fo formed as to be both of the *' nale'* and '* fcrrf'e" kind ^ 
though afterwards an alteration was efFefted, dividing the {exes, 
and alngning to each a fe^parate body. But this is a notion that 
took rife from fancy only, not froni any thing Mofes has faid. 
It is true, he affirm?, in this place, that " God created man 
male and female ;'* giving only this general account of the mat- 
ter. But wh.eo he refumes the fubjeil in the next chapter, he 
particularly informs us of tlie '•* feparate creation,'* both of the 
man and of the woman ; of the man, ** out cf the dull of 
(hs ground ;'' of the woman, out of ** a rib of the man." So 
that, from the beginning, they ex^iled with fcparate bodiest 
properly diftinguilhing their fex. 



find his being created *^ male and female/* after 
fome interruption refumes the fubjed:, and in- 
forms us more particularly of what man was 
formed, feparately confidered as ** male" and 
'« female." 

Of man, that is, the firfl man, Adam, he fays, 
'« God formed him of the duft of the ground, 
and breached into his noftrils the breath of life; 
and man became a living foul." It is, beyond 
all difpute, evident from thefe words, that man, 
the body of man, was made of pre-exifting mat- 
ter, here called, " the duft of the ground." This, 
by the wifdom and power of God, was formed 
into an exquifitely curious compound of organ- 
ifcd parts. But after this formation of " duft'* 
into fo wonderful a machine, it was ftill dead 
inadtive matter ; and fo it remained, till *^ God 
breathed into it the breath of life." It was upon 
this, that ^* man became a living foul." 

It may be worthy of remark here, our Saviour 
Jefus Chrift, in a difcourfe of his about whom 
we (hould fear, particularly diftinguilhes between 
the " fouF' and " body" of man. Agreeably, 
the writer of the epiftle to the Hebrews fpeaks 
of God in that ftyle, " the Father of our fpirits." 
And Solomon, in his book, called Ecclefiaftes, 
ufes that mode of exprelTion, " the fpirit of man 
returneth to God who gave it." If now, by 
" the breath of life," we underftand, as it feems 
rcafonable we Ihould, the '^ foul," or '^ fpirit ;" 
then, by «^ God's breathing it" into the body of 
B 4 man. 


man, it is natural to iinderftand his uniting it, 
having firft given it exigence by his creating 
power, to the " dufl" he had before organifed 
into a fuitably adapted body for its reception, in 
order to its afting, and being adled upon, by 
it. But, in whatever fenfe we take God*s " breath- 
thing into man the breath of life,*' it was this 
exertion of his almighty power that gave him 
«« lifej'* that is, conftituted him a being capable 
of having communication wjth himfelf, and the 
world he had made, in the way of perception and 

Of the formation of the *^ woman, '^ the firft 
of the kind, the account is in thefe words : " And 
the Lord God caufed a deep fleep to fall upon 
Adam, and he flept : and he took one of his 
ribs, and clofed the fie(h thereof. And the rib, 
which the Lord God had taken from man, made 
he a woman, and brought her unto the man." It ' 
appears from hence, that the woman, as truly as 
the man, was made of previoufly exifting mat-» 
ter, though not of the fame form. It pleafed God, 
no doubt for wife ends *, to take a '* rib'^ out of 


^ Moll commentators and pra£lical writers ufon this fubjeft, 
appear to be of the opinion, and 1 am ready to think upon juft 
grounds, that God might chufe to form the woman out of 
** a lib" of the *' man," to make way for ihe cbiervation that 
imnttediately follows upoo her being thus formed; viz, that fhe 
was ** bone oP his "bone, and fledi of his fieih. Therefore (ball 
a man leave his father and iiis mother, and cleave to his wife ; 
Sifid they iliall be pneflefh:" Heiefrom recommending marriage 



the man's body, and to work it into a like curi- 
oufly organifed machine. It is not added, that 
he then " breathed into it the breath of life j'' 
but this ought, in reafon, to be fuppofed : other- 
wife it woyld have been an unperceptive ufelefs 

It is here particularly fignified, that while 
this " rib was taking out of the man,*' and the 
« flefh clofing again," he was thrown into a 
f^ deep flecp ;'* probably, that he might be in- 
fenfible of any pain : though God might bring it on 
him as he caufed a " deep fleep" (Dan. viii. 
1^ — 26.) to fall on Daniel and Abraham, v;hen, 
in a fignal manner, he revealed himfelf to them. 
Perhaps, in this *^ deep fleep," God conveyed to 
Adam as clear a perception of what was now 
tranfadling, as if he had feen it with his eyes ; at 
the fame time, giving him the proper inftruc- 
tions relative hereto : infomuch that, upon 
awaking out of this " found fleep," he was able 

to all, as founded in nature ; being the re-union of man and 
woman*, intimating alfo what tender afFedion ought to fubfid 
jaetweeii man an^ wife ; as they are no longer '« twain, but on® 
flefh." To this purpofe is that reafoning of the ApoHle Paul, 
Eph. V, 28. 31. *' So ought men to love their wives as their 
own bodies : he that loveth his wife, loveth himfelf. — For this 
caufe (hall a man leave his father and his mother, and cleave 
to his wife; and they two (haU be one flefh. " And as it was 
but one woman that God made out of the man to be his wife, 
he might herefrom defign to lead us into this further thought, 
that, in this way, it was fit and proper, and in this way only, 
that mankind flfiould be propagated. To be fure, this is what 
our Saviour has colleiled herefrom, and plainly taught us j as 
may be feen ac large, Mail. xix. 4 — 5, Mark x, 5—12. 



to fay of the woman, now brought into being, 
" This is bone of nny bone, and flefh of my 
flelh : (he Ihall be called woman, becaufc fhe was 
taken out of man.*' Ver. 23. And the words 
that immediately follow, he might fpeak in confc- 
quence of a '^ revelation" he now received from 
God ; " therefore fhall a man leave his father and 
his mother, and fnall cleave to his wife ; and they 
Ihall be one flefh.'* In this way it will be eafy, 
though extremely difficult in any other, to recon- 
cile what feems evidently to be here fpoken by 
Adam, with cur Saviour's declaration, which is 
exprefs, that it was God that thus fpoke. His 
words to this purpofe are thefe; " Have ye not 
read, that He which made them at the begin- 
ning, made them male and female, and said. For 
this caufe fhall a man leave his father and mother, 
and (hall cleave to his wife; and they twain (hall 
be one flelh." Matt. xix. 4, 5. Though Adam 
fpake thefe words, yet God might, with drift 
propriety and truth, be faid to fpeak them alfo, if 
Adam fpake them as communicated to him by 
*' revelation'* from God. — But as thefe are matters 
of comparatively fmaller importance, I go on 
to fay : 

III. It is further obfervable, that man, In his 
original ftate, was made in the " image of God." 
So the propofal runs, when God was in confult- 
ation about making him : " Let us make 
in our image, after our iikenefs," And agreeable 



hereto is the account given of the matter, after 
man was aftually made : " So God created man 
in his own image, in the image of God created 
he him.*' 

Some are fo nice as to diftinguifh between 
^^ image*' and " likcnefs ;" taking more into the 
meaning of the latter than the former. But 
there does not appear to me to be any juft reafon 
for making this difference. '^ Image*' and 
^* likenefs/' as here ufed, feem very evidently 
to import one and the fame thing. The latter is 
explanatory of the former. Being a word of 
fimilar meaning, it might be added, and with 
ftrid propriety, the more clearly and fully to 
afcertain the fenfc intended to be communicated. 
This ufe of fynonymous words is common in all 
languages, particularly in the Hebrew 5 multiplied 
inftances whereof might cafily be given, was 
there any need of it. I fhall add here, wc may 
the rather think, that thefe words were defigned to 
convey the fame fenfe ; as in the following verfe, 
where we have the account of man's creation, 
the language is this : '^ So God created man in 
his own image, in the image of God created he 
him." If more had been contained in the word 
^^ likenefs," than in the word " image," it can- 
not reafonably be fuppofed that Mofes would 
have faid ^^ So," that is, agreeably to the above 
determination, '* God created man in his own 
image," wholly leaving out the " likenefs" he 
had before mentionedo 



But the great queftion here is, what are we to 
tinderftand by this " image of God/* in which 
man was created ? 

Whether this is a queftion in itfelf difficult 
to be anfwered or not, it has occafioned various 
oppofite opinions, which have been maintained 
with warmth, nof unmixed with bitternefs and 

Some make this " image of God" on man 
to confift in his " outward form 5'* his being 
made, not like the other creatures, but after a 
model far exceeding theirs. To this purpofe 
are the following words of a confiderable writer: 
•^ It cannot, I think, be difputed, but thgt, in a 
" moft: obvious fenfe of the words, man's being 
*' created in the image of God, may refer to 
^^ the make of his body ; and intimate, that he 
*^ was formed, not after the fafhion of any other 
*' of the living creatures, but was made in a 
*^ pattern higher than they. A more excellent 
*' form than theirs was given to him.— It h an 
*' expreflion not unfrequent in the Hebrew fcrip-r 
*^ tures, to fay of things, that they are " of God," 
^' if they are in quality eminent above others, 
*^ which have no more than common perfedions. 
^' In this manner of fpeaking, trees of a pro- 
" digious growth are called, " trees of God,'* 
^« or << the trees of the Lord.'* Such were the 
^' Cedars of Lebanon," and for that reafon cali- 
fs ed " the trees of the Lord," trees which '^ he 
^« had planted,*' And thqs man might be faid 

" to 


tf to be made in " the image of God." His 
" outward form" was of a different make, far 
*^ more refpedlable, fuperior to the make of all 
** the other creatures of the world 5 and accord- 
*' ingly, to fpeak fuitably of it, the expreflion is 
" ufed, which, in the language of Mofes's times, 
*' was commonly faid of any thing that was fa 
** fuperlatively excellent, as to have nothing like 
** to, or to be compared with it. No ** image" 
*' of any thing in the world was equal to, or 
** like, that of man ; and therefore man was faid 
" to be created in " the image of God." 

Thefe are the words of Dr. Shuckford *, which 
I cannot but wonder at, as he has juftly merited 
the charadter of a learned and really good wri- 
ter. The mode of diclion he has mentioned, 
" trees of God," and " trees of the Lord," as 
ufed to point out a peculiar excellency in the 
things fpoken of, do not appear analogous to 
this, in which it is faid, " in the image of God 
created he man." Mod certainly the analogy 
can be carried no further than this, that it was an 
excellent creature, fingularly fo, that God now 
made: not that he was this excellent creature, 
pointing at his " external form," or figure. It 
would indeed be highly abfurd to give the phrafe 
this meaning ; there can be no " corporeal" 
likenefs to that God, who is a pure Spirit. A 

* Vide his Hiflory of the Creation and Fall of Man. p. 74, 




refemblance of him in this fenfe, is impofTible? 
in the nature of the thing itfelf. Accordingly, 
when " bodily** parts, figure, or motion arc: 
afcribed to God in Scripture, as they fometimes 
are, they are ever undcrftood, by all writers of 
any value, as defcriptions accommodated to 
human weaknefs, and interpreted fo as to confif^ 
with that " fpirituality" of the Divine Being, 
which is efTential to him. 

Others, by this " image of God," fuppofc 
nothing more is meant than a *' likenefs" of man 
to God in refpedt of '^ dominion." It accord- 
ingly follows, fay they, immediately after the 
confultation about making man in " the image 
of God,'* and *' let him have dominion over 
the fifli of the fea, and over the fowl of the air, 
and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and 
over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the 
earth.*' Gen. i* 26. In like manner, man's 
adlual creation in " God's image," and the grant 
of " DOMINION," are connected with each other. 
** God created man in his own image ; and God 
faid unto him, have dominion." — The Apoftle 
Paul's arguing is alfo referred to, in illufh-ation 
of this fenfe of " God's image." He declares, 
that " a man ought not to cover his head j" 
I Cor. xi. 7. and for this reafon, *^ forafmuch 
as he is the image of God." The propriety of 
his inference is grounded on this, that man is 
the image of God in point of *^ dominion," or 
" authority." 

5 But 


But neither of thefc proofs carry convitflion 
with them. Man, it is true, was no fooner made 
than vcfted with " dominion" over the inferior 
creatures i but then, this *^ dominion" was grant- 
ed to him in confequence of his having been firlt 
created in " God's image," and in this way fitted 
for this honour. So the order of the words im- 
port. We are obvioufly herefrom led to think, 
that God firft imprefled '^ his image" on man, 
and, upon thus dignifying his nature, made him 
the grant of fovereignty and dominion over the 
other creatures. It is acknowledged,^ man, in 
having " dominion/' is " like God," and may 
properly be faid, in this refpedl, to bear his 
" image" in part. But, furely, this is not the 
whole of that " likenefs to God,*' in which 
man was created : nor is it reafonable to think, 
that God would have given him' '^ dominion" 
over the other creatures, making him, in a fenfe, 
his vifible image and rcprefentative, if he had 
not previoufly made him in '^ his image," in 
fome higher and more noble fenfe. He could 
not indeed, in a moral view, have refembled 
God at all, had he not been made after " hig 
image," fo as that he could have been qualified 
for that government, which had been put into 
his hands. — And, as to man's being confidcred 
by the Apoftle Paul as *' the image of God," 
on account of his dominion, no more can be 
juftly argued from it, than that he refembled him 
in this refpcifls not that he did not in any other. 



The Apoftle had occafion, at this time, to men- 
tion his participation of " God's image'* in this 
view of it only. His words therefore ought not 
to be, as they reafonably cannot be, interpreted 
as an intimation that man was created in ^' God's 
image," in no other fenfe than that of his having 
*^ dominion." 

Others ftill make this *^ image of God" on 
man to confift principally, if not wholly, in his 
prefent, adual, perfect likenefs to him in « holi- 
nefsj" meaning hereby, an aflcmblage of all 
morally good qualities, which they fuppofe to be 
adventitious only, not eflential to his nature: 
infomuch that, had he been made without this 
likenefs to God, he would notwithftanding have 
cxifted a man, a creature of the firft or highefl: 
rank in this lower creation. They accordingly 
fpeak of this holinefs as a " fuper-induced" 
quality, which, if loft, or taken away from man, 
would not deftroy his proper nature as fuch ; 
though it would his chara6ler in this fpecial view 

of it. 

It is readily acknowledged, '' holinefs" was 
principally, though not wholly, that which con- 
flituted the " image of God" in which man was 
created. It is conceded alfo, if this holinefs 
was a mere " fuper-indu6lion" upon rnan's na- 
ture, which would have been complete as fuch 
without it, it was no ways eflfential to his proper 
charader as man. He might, though deftitute 



of it, have retained his rank annong the crea- 
tures. But it nnuft be faid, at the fame tioiej 
that the " image of God" on man, whatever it 
may be placed in, whether holinefs, or any thing 
elfe, mud be interpreted in a fenfe that will make 
it, not merely a quality annexed to his na* 
ture, but an efiential property j as, without this, 
he could not have exifled that kind or fort of 
creature it was intended he (liouid be, in dif- 
tindion from the other creatures; or have tranf- 
mitted this kind to any of the individuals that 
Should proceed from him. Thefe things will be 
fct in an eafy clear light in what we fhali have 
occafion to lay hereafter, in its proper place. 
To proceed, therefore. 

There are yet others vv^ho fuppofe, and, as I 
imagine, upon juft grounds, that ^' the image 
of God" on man^ in his creation, confided ia 
his being endowed v/ith intelleulual and moral 
powers, rendering him capable of attaining to a 
refem.blance of the Deity in knowledge, wifdom, 
holinefs, and happinefs ; and of growing perpe- 
tually in this refemblance to the higheft degrees 
that may be thought attainable by a creature of 
fuch an order in the fcale of being. 

It is conceivable, God might have fo made 
man in " his image," as that, the firfl moment 
'he was brought into exigence, he iliould have 
been as ** perfed" in a6Vual knowledge, holinefs, 
and happinefs, as he ever could have been. And 
fome feenn to think, this was the cafe in fa^ti 

C at 


at lead that man, as he came out of the creating 
hands of God, was " perfedl'* in all intelledlual 
and moral qualities. 

If, by his being " perfect" in thefe qualities, is 
meant, his having communicated to him a con- 
ftitution of nature that would, under God, have 
enabled him gradually to have attained to per- 
feflion in them, and in the higheft degree a 
creature of his make was capable of: This, I 
fay, if nothing more is meant, is, without all 
doubt, the real truth of the matter. It is true, 
likewife, his faculties, when created, were in a 
flate of " perfefl redlitudej" that is, he had no 
wrong bias in his nature, no irregular propen- 
fity, no undue tendency to any immoral thought, 
word, or aflion. He was not indeed made 
*« impeccable;" yet his endowments were fuch,, 
that he might have turned out an intelligent, 
righteous, holy, and happy being, in the higheft 
degree of perfeflion he was originally formed 
with a capacity for. 

But for any to fay, that man, upon his firft 
exifting, was endowed with knowledge, holinefs, 
or any other attainable qualities, fo as that it 
might be proper to affirm that he was " perfed" 
in them, in any other fenfe than that which has 
been fpecified, would be to fpeak befide the truth. 
And yet, how common has it been to fpeak thus ! 
Many, who have profelTedly wrote upon this 
fubjed, have reprefented the firfl parents of the 
human race as created, not fimply with the ca- 
I pacities 


facities for intellcdlual and moral attainments 
even to the highefl perfeclion> but with the very 
qualities themfelves ; infomuch that, upon their 
firft commencing " living fouls/' they pofTeffcd, 
not only more knowledge of God, themfelves, 
and the world they were placed in, and a far 
higher degree of adlual prefent holinefs than any 
of their pofterity have ever done fince, after their 
highefl attainments 5 but that they were '« per- 
fe6t''. in thofe qualities, in a fenfe analogous to 
that in which good men, upon the Gofpel-plan 
of grace, (hall be <* perfedl'' in them in the 
other world. 

But, furely, fuch an account of " the imac^e 
of God" on man is the tranfcript of fancy, and 
not of what is contained in the facred hiftory of 
his creation. It is indeed utterly irreconcilable 
with a variety of fadls, Mofes has mentioned re- 
lative to Adam and Eve in their original (late. 

If, inftantly upon their creation, they had been 
the fubjedls of ^' adlual underflanding" in the 
*^ perfeiflion'' that is pretended, it may be afked. 
How it came to pafs that Eve was fo ignoranc 
of the faculties proper to the beafts, as to ima- 
gine that a ferpent might be naturally able to 
" fpeak?'* And yet (he muft have been thus 
ignorant, or it will be difficult, if pofTible, to 
account for her not being (Iruck with furprife, 
when he converfed with her in human voice. 
We, who are acquainted with the inability of 
the inferior creatures to make ule of words, 
C 2 ihould 


fhould be in danger of being put befide ourfelveSi 
if fpoke to by one of them in the manner Ihe 
was. And why was our mother Eve unmoved 
with fear, or a(loni(hment, upon fuch an occa- 
fion ? Perhaps, no good account can be given of 
the matter but this, that fhe had not as yec 
attained to fo much underflanding relative to the 
the inferior creatures, as to know it was unnatu- 
ral for them to fpeak. This is an obvious folu- 
tion of any pretended difficulty *. 

* It may be faid, in anfwer to what has been ofFered above, 
and in Aipport of the actual perfedl knowledge of the firft of 
our race, that the inferior living creatures were ** all brought 
by God to Adam to fee what he would call them ;" and that 
«' he gave names to them all." Gen. ii. 19, 20. And what is 
the inference herefrom ? Not that, furely, which has commonly 
been made, viz. that Adam mull have been endowed wich 
" perfefl" underftanding. For a fmall degree of knowledge 
would have ferved for all he was now called to, or is faid to 
have done. Indeec', if he had •' given names'* to the feveral 
fpecies of creatures, perfectly adjufted to their diftinguifting 
nature and properties, and had done it from his own know- 
ledge relative to them, he muft have been endowed with it in a 
confiderable degree. But it is nowhere faid in the Bible, 
thou-^h it has been faid in other books, that he thus gave them 
names according to their natures. And barely his ** giving; 
them names" is what he might have dons, though he had as 
yet made but fmall advances in his knowledge with reference to 
them, or any thing elfe. Perhaps, the chief thing intended 
by God in bringing the creatures to Adam to ** have names 
given to them,'* was to teach him the ufe and meaning of 
fvords. And it is probable, the moft of what he did in this 
matter, was by inilrudion from God, and not from any innate 
or acquired knowledge of his own. 



It may be again aflced, does it argue any high 
degree of undeftanding to know, that " the 
fruit of a tree'* is not, in its nature, adapted to 
" make one wife,'* and that it could not be 
** defirable to eat" of it to this end ? And yet, 
our iirfl: mother was deceived into the belief, 
that *^ the fruit** fhe faw growing in Eden upon 
a certain *^ tree,*' was proper food for her un- 
derftanding, and " defirable*' to be eat of, that 
fhe might thereby be " made wife,'* fo as to 
*< like God.*' Surely, fhe had not as yet made 
be any great proficiency in the knowledge 
either of God or of nature ! Thefe are fenti- 
ments not capable of being entertained by any 
that have. 

It may be further afked, was it pofiible the 
<* ferpent,** or " the Devil,*' ufing him as his 
inftrument, could have feduced ** Eve" in the 
way he did it, if fiie had had implanted in her 
that innate knowledge which has ofren been at- 
tributed to her? Upon the fuppofition of hich 
knowledge, her being told, that her " eating** 
of the forbidden tree would ^* open her eyes,'* 
and make her, " like God, knowing good and 
evil,** raufl have appeared to her at once, v.'ich- 
out time for any laboured n.-flet'^ion, abfolureiy 
a ridiculous thing: nor can it be. imagined fhe 
could have been led afidc by ih grols and glarijir'; 
an abfurdity. And yer, this Vv'a'^ the wav, in 
which fhe was overcome, to take, and cat of the 
^^ tree," concerning v^hich God had laid, '<'Thaii 
C 7 fh^lc 


fhalt not eat of it 5" if wc may give credit ta 
her own account of the matter, or to that the 
infpired Paul has given of it. Says the woman, 
*< the ferpent beguiled me, and I did eat." Gen. 
iii. 13. Says the Apoftle Paul, the " ferpent be- 
guiled Eve through his fubtilty.'' 2 Cor. xii. 2. 
It was not fo much any fuppofed agreeablenefs 
of the forbidden fruit to her " bodily tafte,'* as 
its imagined aptitude to " make her wife like 
God," that gave occafion to her lapfe. And 
could this have been the cafe, if (he had been 
the fubjecl of knowledge in that advanced height 
that is pretended ? May it not rather be juftly 
colledled from hence, that fhe had attained, as 
yet, to underfranding but in a fmall degree ? 

In fine, it may be afked. Mud not the *' one 
offence" of the firft parents of mankind appear 
unaccountably ftrange, if they were made in a 
flate of perfedlly advanced holinefs as well as 
knowledge ? By the reprefentation Mofes has 
given us of the *^ trial" they were put to, it was, 
fo far as we are able to judge of it, a much lefs 
difficult one than that of Abraham, when God 
called him to " take his only fon Ifaac, and offer 
him a burnt-offering to the Lord ;" or that of 
Noah, the falvation of whofe perfon and f^imily, 
when the reft of the world were deftroyctl by a 
univerfal flood, was dependent on fuch a *' faith 
in God," forewarning him of this judgment while 
yet in diftant futurity, as moved him to begin, 
and go on for an hundred years together, with 



the wbrk of " preparing an ark" for fafety, ac- 
cording to the Diviae appointment, and in op- 
pofition to the contemptuous fnecrs, and mocking 
ridicule, with which he was, doubtlefs, often 
tempted by the unbelieving world in that day. 
And how came it about, that ihofe " imper- 
fectly" holy men (hould fo honourably pafs 
through thofe difficult trials, while the firfl: of 
our race, who are reprefented to have been holy 
even to " perfedion," fhould fail under one that 
was far more eafy ? It moil evidently appears 
from hence, that man was not in an advanced 
(late of holinefs when he fell. Upon this fup- 
pofuion, it would be inconceivable, that he 
fhould have eat of the forbidden tree, when he 
might fo eafily have refrained herefrom, and fe- 
cured himfelf from the threatened death. 

The plain truth is, the firft man, Adam, as 
he came out of his Maker's hands, was endowed 
with nothing more than thofe capacities which 
are proper to a being of that order in which he 
was created. The ufe of thefe powers, con- 
formably to the method fettled by the wifdom 
of God, was the way, and the only way, in 
which he could attain to that ^' perfection" in 
refembling the Deity he was originally formed 
and defigned for. 

We, the pofterity of the firfl man, Adam, 

certainly come into exiftence wirh nothing more 

than *' naked capacities.'" And v;hatcvcr thefe 

capacities now are, whether ftrong or weak, whe- 

C 4 ther 


ther in a flate of reflitude or moral diforderj 
which hereafter confideredj I fay, what- 
ever thefe capacities are, it is by time, exercife, 
obfervation, inftrudion, and, in fhort, 4 due ufe 
of the advantages we are favoured with, that 
we " gradually" rife to thofe attainments our 
capacities were planted in our nature that we 
might acquire. The fame feems to have been 
the cafe with our fird father, only with this dif- 
ference, we come into the world ** infants." 
And it is fo ordered by our Maker, undoubtedly 
for wife and good ends, that the faculties of our 
minds, as well as the members of our bodies, are 
naturally weak and feeble at firft; as alfo that 
they can advance in a flow and gradual way only 
to a flate of maturity. The powers of our fouls, 
no more than the members of our bodies, come 
to their proper height till they have for years been 
gradually growing up to it. But Adam was 
made with all his faculties in full ftrength, God 
created him at once a man j that is, with the 
powers of a man, not a child, in regard both of 
his foul and body. But ftill it fliould be remem- 
bered, time, exercife, experience, and obfervation, 
were neceffary in order to the proper ufe of thefe 
powers to the noble ends for which they were 
given : nor could he indeed have made any ufe 
of the powers of his mind, till it had been fur- 
ni(h€d with the materials herefor; which could 
be done in no way but by " immediate" com- 
munication from God, or in that method con- 


formably to which we his children become pof- 
felTed of them. 

In regard of us, our minds at firfl: are nor only 
feeble, but void of all the objeds of knowledge i 
and it is by the intervention of our bodily or^ 
gans, adapted hereto by the wifdom and power 
of God, that imprefiions from the material world 
are gradually made on our fenfes, fo as to occa- 
fion fenfations in our minds as objeds to employ 
their cxercife; and thcfe objeds, with the reflec- 
tions of our minds on them, and their mianner of 
operation herein, are the inlets to our know- 
ledge, and the original fource of all our attain^ 
ments in it : though thefe will be greater or lefs, 
in proportion to the means, helps, and advantages, 
we are favoured v/ith in the providence of God, 
and the good or bad ufe we make of them. In 
this fame way, it is reafonable to think, ideas 
were let gradually into the mind of the firfl man, 
in confequence of which he was enabled gra- 
dually to make advances in knowledge, wifdom, 
holinefs, and all other defirable qualities. 

Only it fhould be minded here, as man was, 
upon his firll coming out of the creating hands of 
God, in a ftate of total ignorance, and, upon this 
account, incapable of the ufe of any thing, it is 
reafcnable to fuppofe, that God was his inftrudor 
and guide, in fome fenfe analogous to that in which 
parents are guardians to their children * : and it 


• It is in fad trne, that A(?am, focn after his creation, before 
there bad been time for a multipliw"j c.xer:ion of his (acuities 


26 DI S S E R T A T I O N I. 

was owing partly to " immediate inftrudion fronpt 
God," and partly to the introdudion of ideas 
into his mind by the medium of his fenfes, and 
the exercife of his mind with reference to thefe 
objecls, that he made all thofe acquirements ia 
knowledge and goodnefs he was the fubjedt of: 

either in thinking or doing, was taken under the immediate 
guidance of his Maker. H s going into the garden of Eden 
was the efFeft, not of the mere exercife of his reafon, but by 
direftion fom God: His Creator *' put him there." And the 
defion of his being placed there, namely, *' to drefs it, and to 
keep it," was difcovcred to him not by ratiocination, but 
Divine inftrudion. It was *' the voice of the Lord" alfo, and 
not human invefligation, that informed him it was the will of 
his Maker that he fhoulJ not eat of fuch a particular tree in 
the garden, upon pain of death. It was, moreover, by imme- 
diate revelation, and not the fole exercife of his own powers, 
that he came to knov/ that the woman was formed of part of 
his body ; and therefore that ** man ard wife fhonld not be 
twain, but one flefh," and in this re-union propagate the human 
fpecies. In fine, it was by immediate Divine inftrudlion, and 
not the innate force of his own abilities, that he was at firfl: 
taught the ufe of words, at leall in thofe inftances wherein his 
Maker fp^ke to him. And if man had been obedient in the 
fpecial article wherein he was tried, he would, in like manner^ 
without all doubt, and in virtue of this rule too which Gcd had 
fetilid as the nieafure of his condud towards him, have received 
from his Creator ilill other inllrudlions, as occafions might call 
ior them, without which he might, through his prefent inex- 
perience and want of improvement, have been led into hurtful 
error?, both in his thoughts and sftions. All which evidently 
fiiew5, that, being newly brought into exiftence, he was in a 
kind of ** infantile flate," needing the guidance of his Maker^ 
under which it was intended that he fhould grow up, in a pro- 
greffive way, to the adual perfe<i"uon he was defigned for. 



though, as it was foon after his creation that he 
finned againfl: God, he had probably made but 
faiall attainnnents in compariibn with what he 
might and would have done, had he continued 
in his innocent ilate for any long feries of time. 
And this, by the way, will, in a good nieafure, 
account for the eafy trial he was called to ; as alfo 
for the manner in which he was tempted, and 
his being adually feduced upon being thus 
tempted. The trial was adapted to one that had 
made no greater attainments than it may be fup- 
pofed he had done ; fo was the manner of tempt- 
ation alfo 5 and it is far from being incredible, 
that he fhould be overcome by it : whereas, it 
men, from their own imagination, v/ill charac- 
terife our firfl father at the time when he was 
tried, tempted, and led into fin, as in a (late of 
advanced perfection, they will make the Vv'hole 
account of this matter really unintelligible. 

From what has been above offered, it is eafy 
to perceive, that the v/ay of arguing Dr. Taylor 
has gone into to fliow, that ** the faculties of 
*^ the firfi man, Adam, were not fupcrior in his 
*^ innocent (late to what they were afterwards, or 
" that they did not exceed the faculties his polierity 
*' have been endowed with fince,'* is an infufficient 
one, whether the fa6l itfelf be true or falfe, as not 
carrying with it reafonable grounds of convic- 
tion. He has been at the pains particularly to 
compare the ads vyhich Adam performed in his 
innocent (late, with thofe men are capable of 



performing fince ; and fuppofes, " that any one,^ 
*^ who foberly weighs what he has offered, wiH 
** judge, that there is really no ground in reve- 
** lation for exalting his nature to a fuperiority 
♦^ beyond that of his poflerity." But this va- 
luable writer feems not to have fufficiently con- 
fidered, that the ads of Adam, in his innocent 
ftate, might be below what his pofterity, arrived 
at maturity of judgment and underftanding, are 
capable of 5 while yet he might have been en- 
dowed with faculties vaflly fuperior to theirs. 
There is no reafon to think that the mind of 
Adam, immediately upon his creation, was filled 
with all the ideas it was endowed with a capacity 
to admits or that he was, at once, able to apply 
them to all the ufes they were adapted to ferve, 
whether in reafon or morality. Without all 
doubt, ideas were to be gradually Jet into hJs 
mind, in a way analogous to that which now 
takes place ; that is to fay, by the intervention 
of external nature, and his attending to the ope- 
rations of his inner man. And if he had been 
created with the capacity of an Angel, it would, 
in this way, have required time, ufe, and expe- 
rience, before he could have attained to an-y 
confiderable degrees of adual knowledge. 

Should it therefore be fuppofed, that nothing 
is recorded to have been faid or done by our 
firft progenitor in his innocent ftate, that exceeds 
the meafure of underftanding that is common to 
his pofterity fjnce the lapfc; nay, Ihould it be 



allowed that his aftual knowledge, even before 
his fall, was much lefs than ours is fince, upon 
our arrival at maturity of age j it will not follow 
from hence, that his faculties were not larger and 
better than ours. For it is to be remembered. 
It was not a great while before he fell by tranf- 
greilion. The precife time cannot, as I imagine, 
be punctually afcertainedj but in general it is 
evident, from the whole feries of the Mofaic 
hiftory, that it was before he could, conformably 
to the eftablifiied laws of nature, have made any 
confiderable acquirements either intelledual or 
moral. The powers of his nature might there-* 
fore have been vaftly fuperior to ours, though 
this did not appear by the *' adual exercife of 
themi** infomuch that, had he continued in in- 
nocency, he might have exceeded the meafure of 
our prefent attainments, in proportion to the fupe- 
riority of " Paradife'' beyond the " earth," as it 
now lies under the *^ curfe of God." It is quite 
cafy to conceive that Adam, before the fall, 
might be endowed with faculties far more quick 
and lively, far more flrong and penetrating, than 
ours are fince the lapfe -, and yer, that his ** adual 
knowledge" might be lefs, as few ideas had been 
let into his mind, and his opportunity to acquire 
the habit of making the proper ufc of them had 
been but of fbort continuance. For this reaibn, 
the ads performed by him, in his innocent ftate, 
might not be beyond the capacity of thofe of his 
poftericy, who have attained to a moderate fhare 



of underftahding; while, at the fame time, hc 
might have pofTcfled faculties that would have 
enabled him, by ufe and exercife, in due time 
to have arrived to vaftly more exalted degrees, 
both of underftanding and holinefs, than any of 
his pofterity arc capable of in their prefent ftate. 

Bur, whatever may be the truth refpeding the 
firft man^s faculties in his innocent fbate, whether 
they were fuperior to the faculties of his pofterity 
fince the lapfe, and in confequence of it, or not 
(which may be confidered afterwards), it is cer- 
tainly more reafonable, as we have feen it to be 
more agreeable to the Mofaic hiftory, to fuppofe 
that he was made, at firft, rather with the capa* 
cities only for the attainment of intelleduai and 
moral perfection, than with this perfedion, as 
an *^ abfolute gift'* beftowed on him at once. 

The fuppofition, that man was made at firft with 
capacities only, is analogous to what has taken 
place, in faft, with refped to every individual 
of the human fpecies fince the creation of Adam. 
They have all come into exiftence ^vith faculties 
only, not faculties endowed as they may be in 
time by due ufe and exercife -, yea, this analogy 
holds in regard of the '' gift of grace" that makes 
men '' new creatures." They are firft *' new- 
born babes," and gradually grow up to '' the fuW^ 
nefs of the ftatore of perfect men in Chrift Jefus.** 
And the like analogy extends to all the creatures 
'of God in this lower world that have life, though 
it is only a vegetative one. It would therefore be 



jftrange, if the firll man had been a contradi£lion, 
in his make, to that order which was eftablifhed 
in the beginning of the world, and has been 
uniformly continued to this day. 
' It will, perhaps, be faid here, might it not 
have been better in God to have formed man at 
once in the fame degree of perfeclion, it would 
have taken him a long time to have acquired in 
the ufe of implanted faculties only ? Would it 
not have argued much greater goodnefs, if this 
perfe6lion had been an *' abfolute gift,** and not 
be trufled with man, fo as, in any meafure, to 
have been dependent on his care or fidelity in the 
ufe of the powers he was endowed with ? In 
fhort, what need was there of this round-about- 
way to perfeclion, when it might have been com- 
municated at once without fo much ado ? 

To all v;hich the anfwer is, thefc queflions can, 
in reafon, be looked upon as nothing more than 
the refult of mere random conjedurej notwith- 
ftanding which, man's being made fo as that he 
might, in a gradual progrelTive way, rife to the 
perfedlion he was formed capable of attaining to, 
may be in itfelf the wifeft and beH: way in which 
this perfcdlion could have been communicated. 

Had man been made in as high a degree of 
intelle<ftual and moral glory at once, as he was 
made capable of attaining gradually to in time, 
this abfolute gift of God could not have been the 
fource of that pleafure, at lead that fort of plea- 
fure, which might have reiultcd from it, had it 



been, in a reaibnable meafure, an acquifition of 
his own. Pleafure is naturally connected, by a 
Divine eRablifhrnent, with the idea of any valu- 
able quality, as the efrcdt of a due ufe of the 
faculties we are endowed with. We need only 
attend to what we perceive within ourfelves to be 
convinced of this. And it is indeed one of the 
highell and noblefl: pleafures we are capable of 
enjoying. 6u: it is certain man could have had 
no perception of this pleafure, there would have 
been no foundation for it in his nature, if he had 
been made at once that perfed creature he might 
have been by a wife and good improvement of 
his implanted powers. If perfeflion, in all de. 
firable mental qualities, had been the grant of 
God to man independently of himfelf, he would 
have had no reafon for ^' felf-approbation" on 
this account; nor could he have enjoyed that 
noble pleafure, which is the natural refult there- 
from. For this can arife only from a confcious 
reflexion on his ov/n aelivity in the procurement 
of them. 

Befides, this method of man's attaining to the 
perfection he was made for, affords not only the 
moft natural occafion for the various exercife of 
his implanted powers, but conftantly prefents the 
mod reafonable call for this exercife. There is, 
upon this plan, not only full room, but the 
highefl reafon for a uniform, fteady, and vigorous 
exertion of every faculty of his nature. 



In this way alfo there is a natural and clofe 
connedtion between intelledual and moral im- 
provements in every degree, and the proper 
reward of them. For thefe improvements, in 
all their degrees, in the prefent view of them, 
are at once the relblt of the due ufe of implanted 
powers, and the reward of this ufe of them^ 
And, in truth, if man could have been rewarded 
for the right ufe of his faculties, had he been 
made in that (late of a6lual perfection it is here 
fuppofed he might gradually have attained to, 
it is not conceivable, if pofTible, that it could 
have been by any" increafe" of his happinefs. 
A capacity of rifing in glory, by degrees naturally 
conneded v/ith, and preparatory to, each other, 
feems to be not only the moft fuitable excitement 
to a good ufe of implanted faculties, but the 
moft fit and congruous, if not the only bafis, 
upon which this ufe of them can be rewarded ; 
efpecially, if we take into our idea of this re- 
ward an ^* increafe'* of real happinefs. It is in 
confequence of this progreflive capacity, that we 
fuppofe, and, as I think, upon juft and folid 
grounds, that all intelligent moral beings, in all 
worlds, are continually going on, while they 
fuitably employ and improve their original facul- 
ties, from one degree of attainment to another '> 
and, hereupon, from one- degree of happinefs to 
another, without end. 

IV. The next thing obfervable is, an account of 
the " conftitution,'' rule or order, conformably to 

D which 


which the reft of mankind were to be brought 
into exiftence. God " blefled" the man and the 
woman whom he had created, and faid, " Be 
fruitful, and multiply, and replenifh the earth.'' 
The words very evidently contain the eftablifh- 
ment of a law of nature, in agreement with 
which God would ad in the production of all the 
after-individuals of the human fpecies. They 
were not to be made, as Adam was, by an un- 
related exertion of Divine power; but in a me- 
diate way, in confequence of the intervention of 
thofe " fecond caufes" that were now conllituted 
and fpecified. Adam and Eve, by the word of 
blefling which God here fpake, were made ca- 
pable of becoming " many" by a multiplication 
of the fpecies, or by tranfmitting exiftence to 
other individuals in their own likenefs. Not that 
they could do this in virtue of any flvill, will, 
or power of their own, fimply confidcred ; but 
they were the " fecondary caufes," in concur- 
rence with v/hich, God would exert his efficiency 
16 the production of other creatures of the fame 

As the words, conftituting Adam and Eve in- 
flruments, under God, in the multiplication of 
the human race, were direded to them in their 
own perfons, it may feem as tho' it was, by their 
inftrumentality only, that human exiftence could 
be communicated. But it is the truth of fad, 
that thofe who proceeded from them were, in the 
fame way, inftrumental in conveying exifteace 



to others : and fo it has been ever fince. Thefe 
words of blefling, therefore, were fpoken not only 
to Adam and Eve, but virtually, and in reality 
of conftrudtion, to their children, and children's 
children, and fo on throughout all generations. 
They contain, in fhort, the eftablifhed law, or 
method, confornnably to which the individuals 
of the human kind fliould be brought into being,, 
even to the end of time. 

It may be worthy of fpecial notice here, the 
creation of the firft man and woman in ^^ the 
image of God," that is, their being made intelli- 
gent moral beings, capable, in confequence of a 
right ufe of their implanted powers, of refem- 
bling the Deity in knowledge, holinefs and hap- 
pinefs, was the grand characteristic of their 
rank or order. This pointed out the '- diftinc- 
tion" between them and the other creatures God 
had made. They were denominated " man'* 
and " woman" on this account. It marked out 
their proper *' difcriminating" kind of exigence. 
Accordingly, the word of blefTing, upon which 
they were enabled to '^ multiply," muft be inter- 
preted to mean a multiplication of beings of the 
^' fame kind" or ^^ nature" with themfelves ; that 
is, they were now conftituted the mediate inftru- 
mental conveyers of exiftence to creatures that 
fhould be, as they themfelves were, intelliger^t 
moral agents, having in their nature a ** capacity" 
of becoming *^ vifible images of God :*' other- 
wife, the creatures to whom they conveyed ex- 
D 2 iflence. 


iftence, could not have been of the " fame rank" 
or order with themfelves. 

It is obfcrvable, God " faid" to the inferior 
creatures of every fort, *' Be fruitful and mul- 
tiply;" hereby eftablifliing a '' general law," 
agreeably to which, creatures of the fame clafs 
with thofe that were at firft created, might come 
into being. No provifion was made for their 
having exigence in any other way ; and, in this 
way, their exiftence would be of the fame kind 
with theirs from whom they Ihould proceed. 
The diftinflion of kinds, that took place at firfl, 
has, in this way, and in this way only, been ail 
along upheld, and continues to this day. The 
firll man and woman, in common with the other 
creatures of every fort> were, in like manner, 
conflituted by God the infirumental tranfmitters 
of being ; but it was their own in kind. Ic 
could be that fort of nature only, they had them- 
felves received from God, as the fpecification of 
their rank or order among the creatures ; that is 
to fay, the individuals that fnould proceed from 
them mud be endov/ed, as they were, whh intel- 
lectual and moral faculties, and fuch too as would 
infer a '* capacity" in their nature of attaining 
to a refembiance of the Divine Being, fo as to 
be " imager" of him. 

It will, perhaps, be faid here, our firft father 
finned before there had been any '^ multiplica- 
tion" of the fpecies j and having, by fin, loft 


D I S S E R t A T 1 O N I. 37 

the image of God, he could not tranfmit it to 
others, not being himfelf the fubjeft of it. 

The anfwer is, if by " God's image'' on the 
firfl man is meant, as the objedion feems to fup- 
pofe, not fimply the implantation of faculties in 
his nature fitting him to acquire, in a gradual 
way, an acflual perfed: likenefs to the Deity m 
knowledge, righteoufnefs, and other defirable 
qualities; but the fuper-indu6lion of thefe quali- 
ties themfclves, fo as that he pofTelTed them ' in 
the fame manner he would have done, if he had 
acquired them : I fay, if this is what is meant 
by " the image of God" on Adam, it is indif- 
putably true, that it is not communicated to his 
pofterity, in the way of natural defcent: nor was 
it ever intended that it fhould. In this view of 
this " image,'* it is an adventitious quality, not 
an efTential property. But '' the image of God," 
in this fenfe, is not tKat which Mofes fpeaks of. 
He confiders it as the very thing thai: confti- 
tutes the " dillindion" between man and the 
other living creatures*. It was this essentially 


♦^ I have faid, and, I think, upon good grounds, that the 
GRAND DISCRIMINATION of man ffom the other creatures, 
in all their kinds, lies in this, that he was macje with powers 
fo far exalted above theirs, as that he is, in his nature, capable 
of refembiing the Deity, more efpeciaJly in his moral glory : 
whereas iheir natures are void of this capacity. The esset^- 
TiAL difference does not confift merely, or only, in his being 
a •* thinking'* animal, or a thinking one fo as to '* reafon" 
«md " argue." For the other animal?^ at leaft fome of them, 
^ 3 give 


that put the difference between hinn and thern : 
nor could the firft man, either before or after his 


give fuch evident proofs of a capacity to think, yea, and to 
reafon too, that it cannot he denied upon any other foundation 
than this, that, ^s they do not exift in human fhape, they muft 
of courfe be confidered as deftitute of thought ; to be fure, of 
the power of ranging and conneding their thoughts fo, as in 
any meafure to reafon from them. But though they fhould 
be fuppofed to poffefs this power, it muft, at the fame time, 
be affirmed, that they do it in fo low a degree, even in regard 
of the higheft fpecies of them, that they are naturally incapable 
of dillinguifhing between moral good and evil, or of attaining a 
'* likenefs to God'' in any of his ** moral'' attributes, wherein 
principally con fifts that *' likenefs to him" man was made with 
a capacity of rifing to, and in a noble degree of perfedion. 
It fhould therefore Teem reafonabJe to place the essential dif- 
tindilon between him and them in ** this capacity," which they 
are totally deftitute of; efpecially as Mofes, when he would 
diftinguifh man from the other creatures in all their various kinds, 
makes no mention of any thing but this, that " God created 
him in his own iinage," while he did not do the like by them. 
It is cbfervable, he nowhere intimates that God made the 
other creatures abfolutely without the ** power of thought;" 
though he does, that he made them without this power, fo as 
in the exercife of it to attain to a *' likenefs to God,'* and 
therefore that the grand mark of diftindion between them 
lay in this. 

It is, perhaps, the *' power of thinking that essentially 
conftitutes the difference between the creatures that have *• ani- 
mal" and ** vegetative'' life. This pov*fer may begin in fo low 
a degtee, that the ** higheft" of the latter, though totally 
incapable of thought, may yet approach fo near to the ** lowed" 
of the former, that the difference between them, though real 
in nature, may not by us be difcernible: And it may go on 
gradually rifing in thefe animals, through an admirable variety 
of fpecies, till the <* higheft," in regard at leaft of fome of the 



fall, have begot children that would have beca 
of the faine rank or order with himfelf, in dif- 
tindion from the other creatures, if he had not 
begot thcoi in the " image of God," as this 
was the original grand mark of difcriminating 
their kind. And this he was capable of doing 
after his iapfe, as truly as before it, if by " the 
image of God, as has been explained, is under- 

individuals, may fo nearly refemble the ** lowed" of the human 
kind, that the difference, in point of mere reafon, may fcarce 
be perceived; though ftill they eseentiawly differ in this, 
that the ** lovveft'* among men ^refo pcffeft of the power of 
reafon, as to be capable fubjei^s of 9 ^* moral Hkencfs to thg 
Deity j" which the •' higheil^' among t]ie brutes are not. la 
like manner, the proper ground of diftinflion between man, and 
the next order of beings in the line of afcent (fay the angels) 
may lie in this; that the capacity of men, as *' moral agents,'* 
;s limited wiihin fuch a certain fphere; whi'e that of Angels, 
though limited too, is, in fuch a fpecial degree, extended be- 
yond theirs; though in fuch a manner that the '* highefl'* 
among men may come fo near to the ** lowed'* among the 
angels, that there may be no other difference than that which 
13 ejjential to the diilinflion of their order. And, in this wa\^, 
the wifdom of God may have conirived, that the •* power of 
thought" fhould rife from the ** lowed" degree, through a 
vad variety of inferior fpecies of beings, to a more noble rank, 
fo endowed with this power as to be capable of attaining to a 
'■* moral likenefs to the Deity," but dill in the " lowed" degree. 
We men may be fuppofed to be this *' lowed'* order of intelli- 
gent moral beings. And from qs, in the afcending line, orders 
of beings may dill go on ridng in iheir fuperiority beyond all 
imagination. It ia, perhaps, this rifmg of the creatures, and 
by the mod nicely adjuded fubordination, that conditqtes that 
" fiiDuefi" in th? univerfe, which leaves na room for eao or 

D 4 flood, 


flood; not a prefcnt adual perfedl " likenefs to 
the Deity" in intelleftual and moral qualities, but 
a ^^ capacity'* planted in his nature, making this 
attainable. In this fenfe, it is the real truth of 
faCl, that the pofterity of Adam come into ex- 
igence with " the image of God j" that is, they 
are born creatures endowed with intelledlual and 
moral powers, in confequence of which they are, 
in their nature, creatures capable of being formed 
to an *' adlual refemblance of God," both in his 
intelledual and moral glory; which the other 
living creatures are not. It is upon this '^ ca- 
pacity of nature," which the human kind, in 
diftindlion from all the other kinds in this lower 
world, come into exiftence with, that the gospel 
SCHEME to effed in them an ^^ aiSlual likenefs to 
God" is ESSENTIALLY grounded. It implants no 
*« new faculty" in them. Whatever it does, ic 
does upon faculties that have already been commu- 
nicated to them, according to the eftablifhed laws 
of nature. And thefe faculties, let it be remem- 
bered here, were thus communicated '^ nakedly 
as fuch," without their acquired improvements. 
Parents do not tranfmit to their children their 
*' attained qualities," either intellecflual or mo- 
ral *, but like efiential capacities only, in con- 
* It may be worthy of fpecial notice here, though humaa 
faculties only, not their attained qualities, are tranfmitted from 
pnrcnts to children; yet ihofe faculties, in virtue of the clofe 
union or connection, or whatever elfe any may pleafe to call ir, 
there is between the foul and body, may be tranfmitted with 
advantage or difadvantage to the purpofcs of intelledlual and 



fequence of which their children exifl: beings 
of the fame kind with themfelves. This is the 
fettled courfe of nature ; and found to be fo by- 
daily experience. Adam, therefore, could have 
communicated only his kind or rank in the cre- 
ation. And as he was in kind, by nature, a 
being capable of attaining to an adual " refem- 
blance of God'* in knowledge, wifdom, and good- 
nefs, in which capacity lay essentially the dif- 
ference between him and the other creatures, his 
pofterity, as proceeding from him in the way of 
generation, mud, in fome proper fenfe, polTefs, 
as he did, this original capacity, or they could 

moral attainments. It is an indifputable fa6l, whether we can 
conceive of the modus of it, or not, that *' bodily diforders, 
efpecially bodily temperature," may have a ftrange influence 
»pon our mental faculties ; infomuch that we fhall be apt to 
think, judge, and a6l, very much as we are prompted hereto 
by oar ** conllitu:ional turns.'* And thefe '* bodily com- 
plexions" may be contraded by parents, and propagated from 
them to children; and when they are bad, as they too com- 
monly are, it is an unhappy difadvantage to children, as their 
tendencies are with difficulty reftrained, and kept within due 
government : Though they ought to be fo ; and in this good 
government of them confifts a great part of our duty in this 
prefent ftate of trial; in which, if we carelefsly fuffer them to 
operate in an unbounded mannner, we (hall be juftly charge- 
able with all the mifchief that arifes from our folly, in not afting 
up to our proper charadler as beings of fuch an order in the 
creation. But notwithftanding the difadvantage we may be 
under on account of ** conltitutional turns" tranfmitted to us 
from our parents, they convey exiftence to us with faculties, in 
Confequence of which we are capable of attaining to a ** like- 
dqCs to G6d," in his " moral'* glory; otherwife we Ihould not 
be of the humaii kind^ 



not be of the fame rank or order among the 
creatures that he was. It is accordingly aOlgned 
as the reafon, why murder fhould be punifhed 
with death throughout all generations, ** that in 
the image of God he made man," not the tirft 
man only, but mankind in all ages 5 and in this 
view of the reafon given for this punifhment, it 
all along has been, now is, and always will be, a 
jufl and fclid one-, becaufe it all along has been, 
now is, and always will be true, that men are 
made " in the image of God," meaning hereby, 
not an adual prefent ** likenefs to him," but a 
*^ capacity" in their nature for this likenefs : 
otherwife it would not be poffible they fhould ever 
attain to it j which yet, fome of lapfed Adam's 
pofterity certainly have ; and that others have 
not done fo too is owing, not to the want of a 
*' capacity" in their nature herefor, but to 
other caufes, which it would be needlefs, as well 
as tedious, to mention here. 

V. The laft thing obfervable, though not the 
lead important, is " the law of trial" man was 
placed under in his innocent flate, or that " rule 
of government," conformably to which God would 
deal with him in regard of the great affair of his. 
" living," or *' dying." 

Only, before the facred hiftorian comes to 
record this, he previoufly inferts the following 
words : Gen.i. 8, 9. *' And the Lord God planted 
a garden eaflward in Eden 5 and there he put 
the man whom he had formed, And out of the 



ground made the Lord God to grow every tree 
that is pleafanc to the fight, and good for food: 
the tree of life alfo in the naidfl of the garden, 
and the tree of knowledge of good and evil.'* 
And having, in feveral verfes, defcribed the 
fituation of Eden, he adds, ver. 15. « And the 
Lord God took the man, and put him into the 
garden of Eden to drefs it, and to keep it." 

The fituation of Eden, in which God was pleafed 
to make this garden for the ufe and benefit of the 
firft man and woman, notwithftanding what Mofes 
has faid in order to defcribe it, cannot, perhaps, 
at this day be precifely afcertained -, the earth, 
fince that time, having undergone fo many and 
fuch great changes. But wherever it was, it was 
probably the mod agreeable part of this lower 
world : though the fpot pitched upon for the 
garden might be ftill more pleafant and delight- 
ful; and the rather, as God had caufed every 
kind of growth to fpring up there that was fuitcd 
either for nutriment to the body, or to pleafe 
the tafte, or gratify the fight. 

But two " trees," in fpecial, are mentioned by 
their names, which may therefore call for par- 
ticular notice, *' the tree of life in the midft of 
the garden," and *^ the tree of knowledge of 
good and evil." 

The " tree of life" is univerfally fuppofed, by 
thofe who pay a facred regard to the Mofaic 
hiftory, to have had this name applied to it, 
becaufe it was that by which (nan might have 



been for ever preferved in life without being 
hurt by death. But " how" this immortality 
would have been efFeded by it, is matter of dif- 

Some are of opinion, that the *^ fruit" of this 
tree was adapted, by the wifdom and power of 
God, not only to afford proper food for the firft 
pair, but to preferve their bodies, naturally cor- 
ruptible, in the fame equal temper and ftate in 
which they were created, without decay, even to 
immortality. They juftify this opinion from 
fuch confiderations as thefer From the " nartne 
itfelf" given to the tree; which, they imagine, 
is obvioufly expreffive of its proper nature, and 
intended to point it out as a tree that had " virtue 
in it" to perpetuate life for ever. — From what 
God fays. Gen. iii. 22, 23. with reference to 
man's eating of it after his Japfe ; «f And nov/ left 
he put forth Iiis hand, and take alfo of the tre? 
of life, and eat, and live for ever; therefore the 
Lord God fen t him forth from the garden of 
Eden :" and his thereupon barring the pafTage to 
this tree, that he might not approach to cat of 
it *, " So he drove out the man ; and he placed 
at the eaft of the garden of Eden Cherubims, 
and a flaming fword which turned every way, to 
keep the way of the tree of life," ver. 24. — 
From tbe allufions to this tree in the facred 
books, particularly in the book of Revelation, 
Rev. ii. 7. where it is faid, <* To him that over- 
Cometh will I give to cat of the tree of life, 



which is in the midft of the paradife of God." 
In finc> from its better agreement with the other 
parts of Mofes's hiftory, which contains a narra- 
tive of real fads, and not figurative reprefent^ 

But the opinion of others, who rather appre- 
hend this tree took its name from its beino: an 
appointed (landing fign, or vifible afTurance to 
man, that he fhould live on without dying, if he 
continued innocent, appears to me to be better 
grounded, and lefs liable to exception. 

It might, perhaps, be arrogant to affirm, that 
this tree could not have been made fo as to be 
" naturally" capable of rendering man immor- 
tal 5 but it would be no trefpafs upon modefty to 
fay, it was highly improbable this fhould have 
been the cafe : efpecially, as there is no real need 
to fuppofe it was from any thing Mofes has faid 
upon the matter. 

We are obvioufly led by him into fuch a train 
of thought as this : Had man continued inno- 
cent, he would have been immortal. The 
'* threatened death," in cafe of difobedience, an 
account of which we have Gen. i. 23. would 
have no meaning, to be fure none of any force, 
unleft conftrued fo as to involve in it this fenfe, 
that our firft father fhould not die, fo long as he 
kept within the reftraint God was plcafed to lay 
upon him ; and if he Ihould not die, he mud then 
be immortal. But how ihould one of a corrupt- 
ible mortal frame be preferved in life v/ithoiit 
6 end? 


end? The *^ tree of life'* was planted in the 
midft of the garden of Eden on purpofe to effect 
this: but how? Either by its own " natural 
virtue," or by " God's interpofuion," of which it 
was the (landing vifible fign or pledge to the fir ft 
man. It would be incongruous, to an high de- 
gree, to ground the reafon of this name on any 
fuppofed " natural** connedion between things 
fo remote from each other, as the *« fruit of a 
tree," and " living eternally:" whereas, it per- 
fedly accords with onc*s fentiments of what is 
fit and reafonable to fuppofe, that this tree might 
be called '^ the tree of life/' as being a vifible 
fign, pledge, or affurance, given to man by the 
<« only immortal" being who has *' life in him- 
felf," that he alfo, if obedient, fhould " live for 
ever." There is nothing incredible in it, that the 
incorruptible God fliould, by his almighty word, 
bring it into efie6l, that the firft man^s *' cor- 
ruptible fhould put on incorruption, and his 
mortal put on immortality :" nor would it be at 
all flrange, fhould he give a fign or pledge of 
v;hat he thus intended to do : though it would 
be greatly fo, fliould it be faid, that the " fruit 
of a tree," abfolutely *' corruptible in its own 
nature," fhould yet have a '' natural virtue" in 
it, to make that incorruptible, which before, like 
itfelf, was naturally corruptible alfo. 

And this reafon of the name perfectly agrees 
with the ftrid '' letter" of Mofes*s hiftory. For, 
Jet it be minded, the '' literal fad** related by 



him is only this; there was in paradife a tree 
called the tree of life. He does not go on, and 
give the reafon of this name. This he leaves to 
his readers. It makes, therefore, no alteration ia 
the fad related, whether the reafon of it be, the 
" natural virtue" of the tree to immortalize, or 
its being an appointed fign or token that God 
would do it. The latter, as truly as the former, 
agrees with the truth literally related. 

Nor will it at all efFedt the propriety, beauty, 
or force of the fcripture ailufions to this tree 
fhould the reafon of its name be taken from its 
being a '' pledge" of immortality, and not its 
" natural virtue" to make immortal. 

And the fame may be faid of man's being 
driven out of the garden after his lapfe, and not 
fuffered to come near the *^ tree of life." It was 
as proper he Ihould be expelled, and barred an 
approach to this tree, upon fuppofition of its 
being an appointed fign of immortality, as if it 
could, in its own virtue, in any confident fenfe, 
have communicated it. Surely, it could not be 
the defign of this condud in God to guard 
againft man's defeating his pleafiire, by making 
it impofTible, in confequence of his eating of 
this tree, that he fhould die, when God had de- 
clared that he (hould die. It would be ridicu- 
loufly abfurd to fuppofe, that the tree of life 
could have difannulled " the threatening of 
God," had man, afrer bis offence, actually eac 
of it. But as by fin he had forfeited that im- 



mortality which was the free grant of God upon 
his continuing obedient, it was highly lit, in the 
reafon of the thing, that he fhould not now be 
permitted to *^ eat of the tree of life,'' whether 
it was thus called from its own virtue to immor- 
talize, or as an appointed fign or pledge that God 
would do it : though the latter, as I imagine, 
appears to be the mod. natural and congruous 
reafon to ground this name upon. 

The other tree, mentioned by its name, is 
*^ the tree of knowledge of good and evil 5" fo 
called, doubtlefs, as it v^as *« this tree," in dif- 
tiniflion from all the reft in the garden, which 
could have given the firft man and woman an 
*^ experimental knowledge" of what was good, 
and what was evil. 

Some interpreters think, that this tree '^ na- 
turally" produced fruit that was noxious and 
deadly, fuch as, upon eating of it, would infedu 
the blood, tranfmitting a poifon into it that 
would certainly, however flowly, bring on death. 
But it mull be a ftrangeTort of poifon, ftrange 
In its nature, and as ftrangely flow in its ope- 
ration, that would permit a man, after he had 
taken of it, to live on nine hundred and thirty 
years, which the Scripture fays. Gen. v. 3. Adam 
did. — Befides, it does not feem likely, that any 
herb, or the fruit of any tree God had made, 
iliould, in its proper fenfe, be hurtful and deadly, 
till after the introdu6lion of fin, and '' the curfe 
gf the ground" thereupon. To be fure, Mofes 



fays nothing from whence it may be colleifledi 
that the fruit of this tree was of the baneful kind 
that is pretended. He rather gives us to under- 
Hand, that man was " made of the dufb," to 
which " naturally" he v/ould again return^ unlefs 
God ihould pleafe to prevent it. This he would 
have done, had man been obedient; and he gave 
him *^ the tree of life" as a {landing pledge or 
afTurance of it. But man, having finned, for- 
feited all right to this favour of God, and of 
courie became liable to die. So that there was 
no need of this *^ deadly fruit" to poifon his 
body. It was made of corruptible materials, and 
would, according to the lavvs of nature^ fall to 
pieces fooner or later, 

God's " putting Adam into the garden" is now 
mentioned a fecond rime; but with this addition, 
that he was put there ^' to drefs it, and to keep it.'* 
So that he would have had " work to do," had 
he abode in innocency; though his work would 
have been nothing more than a recreating exer- 
cife. It is fin, and the " curfe" thereupon, that 
has changed what> at firft, was only a pleafant 
amufement, into labour fo heightened as to de- 
ferve the name of " toil" mixed with " for- 
row." — But to proceed : 

The facred penman, having recorded the above 
fafts, now comes to give an account of the 
'* rule," or " law of trial,'* man was placed 
under in his innocent fl:ate. This is contained 
in thofe words. Gen. ii. 16, 17, " And the Lord 

E God 


God commanded the man, faying, Of every tredr 
of the garden thou mayeft freely eat 5 but of the 
tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou 
ihair not eat of it 3 for in the day that thou eateft 
thereof thou il:ialt furely die." 

One would think, the " law of trial" here 
made known to Adam was fo plainly exprefled, 
at lead as to its general nature, that there could 
be no reafanable room for miflake. And yet, fo 
it has happened, that multitudes have been led to 
judge and fpeak upon the matter, as though they 
did not at all underfrand what Mofes has handed 
to us, in the mod eafy and fignificative language. 

It is indeed the common opinion, that man. 
In his original flate, was under a " covenant of 
works," requiring " perfe(fl obedience" to thd 
whole moral or natural law of God, as the *^ con- 
dition of life i" infomuch, that he would have been 
fubjeded to death, in cafe of a failure, in any in- 
flance, or the leafl iota of that inftance. I need noc 
cite authorities to prove this to be the common 
fentiment. It is too well known to be fo, by all who 
are, in any meafure, verfed in the writings of expo- 
fitors and divines. But how it came to pafs, that fo 
grofs a miftake fhould generally prevail, cannot 
eafily be accounted for, unlefs we fhould fuppofe 
a general undue attachment to what at firfl took 
rife, not from the facred books of fcripture, but 
the imagination of fome highly celebrated, how- 
ever fallible, man, when thinking and writing 
upon the fubjedt. Not but that this is an eafy 



and natural miftake, if confidered in connexion 
with another that was equally the fruit of fancy, 
in thofe who firft fell into it 3 and this is, that 
the man Adam came out of the creatine: hands 
of God with fuch *^ perfedion" of adual know- 
ledge, wifdom and holinefs, that he was at once 
" perfedly" able to underftand the requirements 
of the law of nature in every inftance, and " per- 
fedly'* to comply with them. And, it is readily- 
owned, if this had been the cafe in hd:, it would 
be no ways unreafonable to think, that man 
might have been put under a " covenant of 
works," in the fenfe he is reprefented to have 
been. But how unnatural would it be, upon 
man's being made with faculties fitted for im- 
provement to " perfcdion," to bring him in this 
" perfe6t creature" all at once, before there had 
been time for his making any confiderable ad- 
vances towards it. We lliould, in this way, give 
him a charatfter which, according to the confti- 
tution of his nature, could not, at prefent, be 
juftly applied to him, Befides, Mofes has given 
us no fuch account of the firft man. On the 
contrary, he has related many fads, as has been 
already obferved, in confequence of which ic 
moil evidently appears, that, whatever his im- 
planted powers were, his a6tual knowledge and 
holinefs were comparatively fmall. 

And it is remarkable, the " law of trial" her 

reprefents the man Adam to have been placed 

under, is exaflly fuited to the idea he has Jed 

E 2 us 


us to entertain of him. It was not a " perfed'* 
conformity to the " natural moral law of God;" 
for as yet he knew but very Utrle of this law : 
and the original implantation of a difpofition, or 
tendency in his nature, to yield obedience to ir> 
had not;» in any confiderable degree, been con- 
firmed and ilrengthened by time and exercife. 
It might therefore be improper in itfelf, an unfit 
tinfuitable thing, that he fhould, in his prefent 
fituation, be placed under *^ fuch a covenant of 
works" as fome have been pleafed to contrive 
for him. God might know,, that a trial of this 
kind would have been too hard and fevere. And, 
in truth, had he been put to ir, there would have 
been fcarce any reafon to hope, if we may judge 
by what afterwards came into fad, that he would 
have acquitted himfelf with honour. For, as he 
failed when tried in one inflance only, eafy in 
kfelf, and fo plainly pointed out, that he could 
not: well miifunderftand it; v;hat but death muft 
have been the confequence, had this rule been 
enlarged fo as to take in the law of nature in 
every inftance> to be firft inveftigated, and then 
practifed, by the fole ftrength of his own powers ? 
It would have been morally impafiible for one, 
in his inexperienced ftate, to have flood a trial 
fo very difficult and dangerous. 

His Creator was more kind to him, than many 
of his pofterity have been fince. So Mofes has 
informed us, and in words as plain and explicit 
as he could well have ufed. According to his 



account, the rule of God's condii6l towards man 
was, not what he might have colkaed from the 
exercife of his reafon, however exalted in its 
meafiire ; but what could be known by " reve- 
lation" only. He was to ftand or fall, to live or 
die — How ? By what Jaw ? Not by ^^ the law of 
works," as requiring perfed, adual, indefea:able 
obedience ; not by this law, in regard of any 
one of its precepts: No; but by a '' pofuive 
law/' in a <« fingle inflance," that is, a law that 
was difcoverable, not by human faculties, though 
exercifed in the moll perfed manner; but by 
" immediate revelation" from heaven. So fpeaks 
the facred hiftory. Gen. ii. 16, 17, *' Of every 
tree of the garden thou mayell freely eat; but 
of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, thou 
Hialt not eat of it : for in the day that thou eateil: 
thereof, thou fhalt furely die." The language 
here is too exprefs to need any comaient, or to 
admit of difpute. 

And it is from hence obvious, at the firfl 
glance, that <« faith in God," and not a " prin- 
ciple of mere reafon," mud have given rife to the 
obedience here required. Adam indeed could 
not have obeyed, it v/ould have been an im- 
poflibility in nature, but from " faith" in the " re- 
velation" God had made of his mind in this 
matter. This mufl have been the governing 
principle in his heart. And it was *^ effentially" 
owing to the want of this principle, either v/holly, 
pr in a fufEcient degree, hov^ever it came about, 
E 3 that 


that he *^ eat of the tree," concerning which God 
had faid to him, *' thou (halt not eat of it." 

It would therefore be the truth, itri«5lly and 
properly fpeaking, fl-iould it be affirmed, that our 
firfl father, no more than his pofterity, could 
have *^ pleafed God" without the real being and 
exercife of *^ faith i" and that he could no more, 
before his lapfe, than after it, have fccured the 
poflcfTion and enjoyment of life, in any v/ay but 
by <' grace through faith." It is acknowledged, 
there is an enlargement of grace, and of the ob- 
j eel fail h, fince the lapfe; but flill, man, in his 
innocent ilate, would have been *' faved by 
grace," if faved at all, and through the exercife 
of '' faith," as truly in his innocent (late, as his 
pofterity are in their iapfed one. So that <' the 
law of faith" took place from the beginning of 
the world, and v/as the '^ rule" or meafure of 
God's condud towards even innocent man, and 
not a " covenant of works," as has been ima- 
<^ined. We never indeed read;^ in all the Bible, 
of any " covenant of works" that God entered 
into with Adam. The only covenant of '' this 
kind" it fpeak^ of is the '' Sinai" one, made with 
the Jewifh nation. And this is that '^ firft" or 
^« old" covenant, v/hich is fometimcs contrafted 
with the *' fecond" or «^ new" covenant. 

It will probably be afl^ed here, Was the one 
man Adam then left at liberty, in his original 
(late, with refpecft to all other works but this 
fpecial onp of ^} faith/' on which hi§ qqntinuanse 


in life was dependent ? Was he under no obli- 
gations to " the law of nature/' the law of reafon, 
which is the law of God ? And had he violated 
<« this law/' would he not have incurred the dif- 
pleafure of his Maker? 

The anfwer is obvious. He was, without all 
doubr, under flri<fb indifpenfable obligations to 
obey every other command of God, wherein in 
fhould be made known to him, as truly as " this 
fpecial" one; and muft have rendered himfelf 
obnoxious to the righteous refentments of his 
God and King, had he exprefled a difregard to 
any of them. But then, i^: muft be added, it 
was mofl certainly with a view to his being thus 
obedient, and in this way efcaping the Divine 
difpleafure, that God faw fit, in his great wifdoni 
and goodnefs, to place him under this ^' fpecial 
rule of trial." 

It ought not to be fuppofed, that God would 
•have made a " mere poficive command," per- 
haps, indifferent as to the " matter" of it, th« 
*^ rule" of his conduft towards man, merely for 
the fake of difplaying his authority -, or that he 
did thisp as laying greater ftrefs upon obedience 
lo a pofitive precept, than one that was founded 
on the eternal unchangeable reditude of his own 
nature *• To think or fpeak thus, would be 


• Thofe who afk, why was AJam's obcllcrce tr-cd Jn a 

merely pofitive inftance ? do not confider, *♦ that an experinieirt 

** of it could fcarce have been mide in any of the moral precppts ; 

E 4 ** whici> 


groibly to reflect on the all-wifcj righteous and 
holy Governor of the world. He mud liave had 
Ibme great and noble defign in placing innocent 
man under this particular confritution, rather 
than any other. And in order to our conceiving 
juftly of it, let it be obferved, 

Man was now but juft brought into exiftencei 
and though he polTeiled powers uerfed:ly fitted for 
his gradually making the highelt advances^ proper 
to a creature of his rankji yet he had not, at 
prefent, had time or opportunity for any con- 
fiderable improvements. Under thefe circum- 
itances, God did nor judge it fuitable to leave 
him to the fole guidance, either of his implanted 
faculty of underfcanding, or difpofition to vir- 
tuous and holy pradice. He was rather pleafed 
to take him under his own care, that he might 
be under the beft advantage, in order to his. 
gradually rifing, in harmony with the conftitution 
of his nature, to " that perfedion" in adlual 
knowledge, wifdom^ and every other good qua- 

*' which there was no occafion to violate. For what {hould 
•' tempt him to idolatry, or to take God's name in vain, or to 
" murder his wife ? How was it poflible to commit adultery, 
** when there was no bo iy but he and (he in the world r How 
*' could he fteal, or what room was there then f r coveting, 
*' when Gpd had put him in poHeflion of all things? It had 
** been in vain to forbid that which could not be done; and it 
** hod not been virtue to ablUin from that to which there was 
** no temptation, but from that uhich invited him to tranf- 
!• grefs." Bifhop Patrkk, in his note oa Gen, ii. ij^ 




lity he was originally made capable of attain- 

ing to, 

And the " fpecial connmand" God gave him, 
was the expedient to this purpofe ; and an ad- 
mirably well-contrived one : for it was virtually, 
and in true defign, a command carrying in it 
luch language as this, Hearken to my voice, 
believe what I fay, keep within the reftrainc 
I have laid ppon you. You will find your 
account in fo doing. I will, in this cafe, be 
your guard and guide, your inftrudor and afTift- 
ant, fo as that you lliall be preferved blamelefs^^ 
and attain to an eftabliflied perfeftion in all 
acquirements proper to your nature. But if, 
through unbelief, you fet yourfelf up for your 
own direiftor, and follow your own inventions, 
you fhall foon fee your folly in what you will 
cxpofe yourfelf to. 

The '• enforcement*' with which the com- 
mand to Adam was accompanied, obvioufly and 
neceflarily contains in it all this. If, from ^' faith 
in God," he had obeyed his voice, and fo long 
as he had done fo, he would have had a fure and 
jufl: claim to the '^ life" that was promifed upon 
this condition. But what was '* this life ?" We 
may be fure, it was not merely or fimply his 
being continued in exiftence, but his pofTefling 
it in a (late of favour with God, and to the true 
purpofes of living. And if fo, then with fuf- 
ficient reafon to expecl, that his Maker would 
haye been Iii^ never-failing patrop and friend; 



affording him, at all times, and in all circuni- 
fiances, protedion, inftruflion and help : info- 
much, that he (hould have advanced, by quick 
and fafe fleps, in all fpiritual underflanding and 
godly virtuous pra6lice, till he had been formed 
to a «' meetnefs" for a confirmed flate of glory 
and honour, above the need of being any further 
under difcipline and trial. Whereas, if, through 
unbelief of God's word, he fhould chufe to be 
his own counfellor and guide, trufting in himfelf 
and his own abilities, the confequence muft have 
heeiiy the lofs of God's favour, and an imme- 
diate liablenefs to the threatened death. Nothing 
■fhort of all this will come up to the full meaning 
of the " conftitution" Adam was placed under. 
And if this was its meaning, it was a mod kind 
and ample provifion for his beft good. 

He certainly flood in need of fuch a teacher 
and guide, as God here offered himfelf to be. 
In his prefent unexperienced and unimproved 
flate, he would have been in extreme hazard 
of being betrayed into miftakes, both in judg- 
ment and praclice, if, inflead of the counfel of 
the all-knowing God, he had had only his own to 
have depended on for his guidance in the way of 
truth and holinefs. This '^ fpecial command of 
God" may therefore be reafonably looked upon, 
not only as a ftanding, (Iriking call to him to give 
credit to God's voice, depending on him, and 
not on his own unimproved underflanding and 
reafpn for the diredion of his condud; but a 



ywd and gracious afTurance, while he did thus, 
of God's readinefs to be all along prefent with 
hiiTJ, to guard hinn againft evil and danger, and 
.to do whatever might be proper, on his part, hi 
order to his attaining the end of his creation, viz. 
his rifing to fuch heights in intelledual and moral 
improvements, as would make him, in his mea- 
lure, adtually and perfeclly like to the blefTed 
God, and fo prepared for an immortajity of glory 
and happinefs with iiim. 

The " rule of trial" our fird father was placed 
under, viewed in this point of light, is, at once^ 
fet free from all juft exception. — It was properly 
adjufted to his real charader^ not being above, 
nor below his abilities, which ought, in reafon, 
to have been the cafe. — And it was a wifely ap- 
pointed mean to promote both the honour of 
God and the bed good of man : As it was power- 
fully adapted, not only to teach him implicitly 
to believe, and unrefervedly to obey his Maker; 
but to influence and engage him hereto, by 
threatening, on the one hand, certain ruin in 
cafe of his following his own counfel in oppo- 
fition to God's direction, and promifing, on the 
other, that, upon hearkening to God's voice, he 
fliould be fo conduced in life, under the guar- 
dianfhip of hfis Creator, as to make the higheft 
advances in holinefs and happinefs his nature was 
capable of. Whereas, if he is confidered^ ac- 
cording to the ^common reprefentation that is 
made of him, as created with a fund of light in 



his underflanding at once fufficient for his guid- 
ance into all truth, and with a difpofition in his 
heart equally fufHcient imnnediately to put him 
upon all holy praflice, the Mofaic account, both 
of him and the conftitution he was under, will 
be burthened with infuperablc difficulties. There 
■would, in this cafe, be no proportion between 
*« the law of trial/* and ^« the man to be tried." 
It would be too low for one of fuch exalted fur- 
niture. — Nor can it eafily be imagined, what 
valuable end could have been propofed, or at- 
tained, by putting a creature fo excellently en- 
dowed upon fuch a kind of trial. — Befides all 
which, it could not, in any reafonable way, be 
accounted for, that he fhould, upon being tried 
in fo comparatively inconfiderable a matter, have 
been enfnared and feduced : efpecially, as the 
temptation by which this was done mud, to fuch 
a creature as he is now fuppofed to be, have 
appeared, upon the bare propofal, contemptibly 
ridiculous and abfurd. 

Men may, if they pleafe, talk at random about 
this matter j firfl: bringing in man at once perfed 
in intellciflual and moral accompliOiments, and 
then placing him under a trial that would have 
been too inconfiderable for any qf his imperfed 
poderity, arrived at the common meafure of 
underftanding; yea, a much lighter one thaa 
fome of them have actually pafled through with 
honour, though he, with his endowments height- 
«:ncd to perfedion, was enticed and drawn afide. 



But the vain imaginations of men mufl not be 
taken for the truth of Scripture. We are very 
obvioufly led from thence to think of the firit 
man, as made for '^ progreOive improvement," 
and not that perfected creature at once he could 
have been only in a courfe of time, and in con- 
fequence of the proper ufe of his implanted 
faculties. This is agreeable to what appears, in 
fadu, to have been the efrablifned order of nature 
from the beginning of the world j and it has all 
along uniformly taken place v/ith refpe6l to all 
the creatures of all kinds it pleafed God to 
make; efpecially in regard of man, a creature 
of the iirft or higheft rank. And the conftitution 
he was placed under, fo far as we give credit ta 
the facred books, and do not judge by mere fancy, 
v/as evidently fuitcd, not to a creature of any 
exalted degree of prefcnt actual underftandingy 
or holinefs j but to one only capable of ir, and 
advancing towards it. And it was under this 
conftitution, as a mean principally intended 
herefor, that he was gradually to attain to the 
pcrfe6tion of his nature. 

The fum of what has been faid, under the 
foregoing obfervations, repreicnting the contents 
of the Mofaic account of the firft man in his 
innocent (late, to place it in one view, is this, 
that he was made male and female^ the mod 
excellent creature in this lower world, pofTcfTing 
the higheft and noblefl rank : That he was made 
by an ^^ immediate" exertion of almighty power, 



and not by God's agency, in concurrence with' 
fecond caufes, operating according to an efta- 
bliflied conrfe or order: That he was made in 
*' the image of God ," meaning hereby, not an 
adual, prefcnt, perfe6t likenefs to him, either 
in knowledge, wifdom, holinefs, or happinefs, 
but with implanted powers perfectly adjuded 
to each other, and as perfedly fitted for his 
gradually attaining to this likenefs, in the higheft 
meafure proper to a being of his rank in the 
creation : Thar, upon being thus made, he was 
conflituted the " head'* or " root" of the humart" 
race, from whom, as the fecondary inilrumencal 
caufe, like eficntial powers with his own fiiouldy 
according to a divinely fettled order, be tranf- 
mitced toothers, and from thofe others, to others 
iViWy throughout all generations 5 that is, powers 
inferring a capacity in nature of their being 
formed to a refemblance of the Deity in his 
moral glory, in confequence of which they would 
be individuals of the fame kind that he was, and 
diftin^uiflied from all the other creatures: In 


fine, that being made, not perfect at once in 
adual knowledge or holinefs, or any other intel- 
jedlual or moral quality, but with implanted 
powers only rendering him capable of gradually 
•attaining to this perfeflion, he was placed by his 
Maker under a ««fpecial law or rule," principally 
defigned as a fuitable and powerful mean to guard 
him ngainfb danger in his prefent unimproved 
lUte, and to encourage, afiiH:, and conduct his 



endeavours in the ufe of his faculties, fo as that 
he naight gradually rife to as near a likenefs to 
'GodMn all intelledlual and moral acquifitions, as 
was poflible for fuch a creature as he was, and in 
this way be prepared for complete and perfed: 

This account of the creation of the firft man, 
and of his ftate while innocent, is that which 
Mofes has communicated to us, either exprefsly, 
or in words that naturally and fairly import this 
fenfe. And it is the whole we can now know 
about him, as it is the whole that has, in an 
authentic way, been handed down to us. 

[ ^4 ] 


0?2 the one wan Adam in his lapfed Jlate^ with 
the temptation that bronght him into it. 

NOtwithftanding what haS been faid of the 
firfl: man Adam, defcriptive of his im- 
planted powers, and the advantage he was under^ 
having God for his immediate inftruclor and 
guide, to have made ufe of them to his gradu- 
ally advancing in knowledge, holinefs and happi- 
nefs, till he had attained the perfection proper to 
his nature 5 he was foon overcome by temptation 
to oilcnd in the very inftance wherein he was 
forbid to do fo, hereby forfeiting tiie divine fa- 
vour, and expofing himfelf to tliat death God 
had threatened in cafe of his difobedience. 

The account of this whole affair Mofes has 
tranfmittcd to us ; and it is from hence we mud 
form our notions, if we v/ould do it upon folid 
grounds, of the true flate of our firfl progeni- 
tors, in confequence of the lapfe, with the occa- 
fion that led to it. 

The words in which this account is given to 

to us, may be ften an large in the third chapter 

of Genefis. And tv/o things, in general, are 

6 contained 


contained in them which deferve our fpecial 
notice, i. The " temptation" with which the 
firft parents of men were afTaulted, and the 
" offence'* it unhappily betrayed them into. 
2, The " effedls" that followed upon their of- 
fence, " both " natural" and "judicial.'* Thefe 
are comprehenfive articles, which, if confidered 
as they ought to be, will take in the whole that 
Mofes has faid upon the matter. 

L As to the " temptation" with which our 
firft parents were aflaulted, and their " offence" 
hereupon, it is thus recorded. 

Genesis, Chap. III. 

1. " Now the ferpent was more fubtle than 
any bead of the field, which the Lord God had 
rnade. And he faid unto the woman, Yea, hath 
God faid, ye fhall not eat of every tree of the 

2. " And the woman faid unto the ferpent. 
We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the gar- 

3. " But of the fruit of the tree which is in 
the midft of the garden, God hath faid. Ye fhall 
not eat of it, neither fhall ye touch it, left ye 

4. " And the ferpent faid unto the woman. 
Ye fhall not furely die." 

5. " For God doth know, that in the day ye 
cat thereof, then your eyes fhall be opened -, and 
yc fhall be as Gods, knowing good and evil." 

F 6. " And 


6. *' And when the woman faw that the tree 
was good for food, and that it was pleafant to 
the eyes, and a tree to be defired to make one 
wife, (he took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, 
and gave alfo unto her hufband with her, and he 
did eat." 

The narrative begins, " The fcrpent faid unto 
the woman." — The fa6l here related is, that it was 
a " ferpent" that converfed with Eve, and ma- 
naged the temptation by which fhe was feduced. 
Nor is it an objedtion of any force againft the li- 
beral truth of this fadV, that elfewhere in fcrip- 
ture an " evil fpirit ,*' called " Satan" the " de- 
vil," the " prince of the power of the air, who 
worketh in the children of difobedience," is 
iuppofed to have been the " real agent" in this 
matter. And, in truth, upon any other fup- 
poUtion, it would be difficult, if poffible, to give 
a good realbn, why the *^ devil" fliould be called 
«' the old ferpent," as he is more than once 
in the book of the Revelation ; why he fhould 
be fpoken of in that ftyle, '^ the devil that fin- 
neth from the beginnings" why he fliould be 
termed " the father of lies," as being ^' a liar 
*^ from the beginning," and, through his lying, a 
<« murderer" alfo. But though he was the " great 
agent" in this temptation, and the " ferpent'* 
an " inftrument only" that he made ufe of; 
yet it is the truth of fadt, that the *^ ferpent" 
really fpake the words that are here faid to have 
been uttered by him. It was by " his tongue'* 
thofe modulated founds were made, which, by 



the fenfe of hearing, conveyed into Eve's mind 
the ideas intended to be communicated by them. 
Mofcs does not enter upon the queflion, how 
thefe articulated motions in the air were occafion- 
ed, whether by the ferpent himfelF, or as adtuated 
by Tome fupcrior being : And it might, perhaps, 
have been improper that he fliould. Eve knew 
nothing as yet of the exiftence of angek, good 
or bad : nor did fhe know it was beyond the 
natural capacity of this " ferpent'* to fpeak as 
Ihe perceived he did. Probably flie had, by ob- 
fervation, been led to think, that fome of the 
beafts were not endowed with the power of 
fpeech y but fhe had not been long enough in 
the world to know, that they were all deftitute 
of it. And this may be the reafon of that re- 
mark relative to the " ferpent,'* he was " more 
Aibtle than any of the beafts of the fieki." She 
might apprehend, he was made fuperior to any 
of the inferior creatures (he had had opportunity 
to know any thing about, in this fpecial refpedt^ 
that he was endowed with an ability to fpeak, 
which they were not. Now, upon this repre- 
fentation of the ftate of Eve's knowledge, there 
is an obvious propriety in Mofes's account of this 
fad. For he writes, as it was fit and natural 
he fhould do, according to the " vifible appear- 
ance" of the thing, as well as *' Eve's ap- 
prehenfion" of it, at the time when it hap- 
pened. Nor is he fingular in this manner of 
writing. The Apoftle Paul, having occafion to 
F 2 fpeak 


fpeak of Eve*s being deceived, does it accord* 
ing to the then appearance of the thing, in thefc 
words, " the ferpent beguiled Eve •,'* faying no- 
thing of the " devil," though he knew it was he 
that a(5luated the ferpent. In like manner, the 
Apoflle Peter, when fpeaking of Baalim, the foa 
of Bofor, fays, " the dumb afs, fpeaking with 
man's voice, forbad the madnefs of the pro- 
phet;" and yet, he knew, at the fame time, that 
the afs was only the " inftrument" God made 
life of in the rebuke that was now given. Mo- 
fes, therefore, may reafonably be looked upon as 
" literally" writing a true fad, when he fpeaks 
of a " ferpent" as talking with Eve, though it be 
fuppofed, at the fame time, that the ferpent was 
aduated by the " devil," and did not fay a 
word in virtue of any natural power he was en- 
dowed with, fufficient for the purpofe. 

Some are pleafed to give us wonderful accounts 
of this ferpent ; that he had wings, and could fly : 
that he was of the firey kind, and made a mofl: 
beautiful fhining appearance ; and that, being of 
an ere6l figure, he could reach and take fruit 
from the tree, of which our firft parents were 
not permitted to eat. And they might have 
gone on, and informed us flill further, that he 
was the moft diftinguiflied of all ferpents, and 
of all other beads, in that he was naturally ca- 
pable of managing a difcourfe with art and de- 
fign. But it ought to be remembered, Mofes 
only fpeaks of him as a *^ ferpent, the moft fub- 



de among the beads;" not faying a v/ord about 
his wings, or beauty, or any other peculiarity. 
All therefore we can depend upon as truth is, 
that it was a " ferpent,'* in diftindion from all 
other creatures, that was ufed as the " inftru- 
ment" in the temptation that feduced the firft 
of our race. Whatever defcriptions are given 
of this ferpent, however fine and curious, are 
the fruit of imagination only, and fhould be 
carefully diftinguifhed from the truth of ferip- 

Mofes, having obferved that it was a *' fer- 
pent'* that fpake to Eve, goes on to relate what 
he faid. And his firft addrefs to her feems to 
have been in the guife of an aflonifhed inquirer, 
" Yea, hath God faid. Ye ihall not eat of every 
tree of the garden ?" Upon Eve's acknowledg- 
ing there v/as one tree, concerning which God 
had faid, •' Ye fhall not eat of it, nor touch it, 
left ye die :" the ferpent replies, faying to the 
woman, " Ye fhall not furely die. For God doth 
know, that in the day ye 'eat thereof, then your 
eyes fhall be opened; and ye fhall be as Gods, 
knowing good and evil.'* Thefe are the only 
words Mofes relates to have been fpoken by the 
ferpent; though others, by imaginary additions, 
have made him fpeak in the moft artfully delufive 

After they have introduced the ferpent '* play- 
ing fomeof hiswily tricks," and, in the woman's 
prefence, taking and eating of the tree fhe was 
F 3 reftraincd 


reftrained from touching, they reprefent him as 
*^ putting on a luore feraphic, or angelical 
ap pearance/' and addrcfling her in fuch lan- as this, '* You fee how the fruit of this 
'' tree has exalted me; fo that from a bead of 
*^ the field I am become a glorious " feraph," 
" and endued not only with fpeech, but with 
" the knowledge of the Divine Will, which has 
'* not been fully opened to you by God himfelf— 
*' Can God pofTibly, do you think, have really 
" intended, that you fhould not eat of the fruit 
" of every tree of the garden, and of this in 
** particular, which he himfelf has made and 
*^ planted there ? What did he make and place 
" it there fsr then ? — You are greatly miftaken. 
«' The fruit is not deadly, nor will it kill you, 
*^ any more than it has me. Alas I all that God 
" meant, by faying it would defiroy you, was, 
*' that it would change and transform you. But 
*« fo far will it be from making you ceafe to 
" be, that, in the day you eat of it, it will opea 
*' and enlighten your eyes, asit has mine; and 
" as it has railed me from a ferpent to a feraph, 
*f endued with fpecch and knowledge of the di- 
" vine counfels concerning you, fo it fliall like- 
«^ wife raife you from being mortals to be Gods; 
*' and, inftead of bringing death on you, make 
" you immortal like the great Creator himfelf j 
" giving you the fame kind of knowledge of 
*^ good and evil that he has. You fliall then 
" know the way to poflefs all the good you en- 

" joy. 


**joy, independently as he does 3 and you (hall 
'* know how to avoid death, the threatened evii, 
*^ which would for ever put an end to all your 
^' blifs and felicity. Even difobedience itfelf will 
*' not then be able to bring it upon you. In fine, 
** you will find this tree to have the like powers 
'* to improve and raife your minds, as the tree 
** of life has, to preferve your bodies *." 

Surely, this fpeech of the ferpent took rife 
chiefly from imagination, not from any thing 
Mofes has faid to give countenance to it. The 
fad, as he reprefents it, appears, as it ought to 
do, not fet off with laboured art and ornament, 
but in a naked, plain, natural drefs. It is 
little more than a repetition of the words God 
had fpoken, with a bold denial of their truth, in 
roundly affirming this falfehood, that, inflead 
of dying, if they eat of this tree, " their eyes 
fhould be opened ; and they fhould be as Gods, 
knowing good and evil." 

It fhould be remembered here, neither Adam 
nor Eve had as yet had opportunity for any con- 
fiderable acquaintance with the ufe or force of 
words. It would therefore have been below the 
" fubtlety of the ferpent," and indeed quire un- 
natural for him, to have addreffed to the woman 
in that variety of artful language which has been 
put into his mouth. Such a manner of fpeak- 
ing would not have been adjufted to her proper 

* Eflay on the fevcral Difpenfations of God to Mankind, 
p. 5, 6. 

F 4 charader. 


characfler. Whereas, Mofes's account, as it lies 
in his hiftory, without the innaginary help of 
others, is contained, as it was proper it (hould 
be, in a few words, and fuch too as Eve, hav- 
ing heard before, may be fuppofed to have eafily 

But however the words, in which the tempta- 
tion was managed, are interpreted, they had their 
intended and defired effedl; for they deceived the 
woman into the thought, as the hiftory goes on, 
*' that the tree was good for food, and to be defired 
to make one wife." And (he accordingly ^^took 
of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave alfo to 
her hufband, and he did eat," in direct oppofition 
to the exprefs command of God. And in this lay 
their " offence," and not fimply in eating of this 
tree, which might have been an indifferent matter, 
had not God made it otherwife by interpofing a 
pofitive declaration of his pleafure, that they 
" fhould not eat of it," though they might 
*' freely eat of every other tree in the garden." 
It will poffibly be faid here, is it a thing cre- 
dible, that the all-wife good God fhould permit 
the entrance of fin into the world, as occafioned 
in the manner that has been reprefented, by a, 
'^ temptation" begun, and carried into effefl, by 
a '' ferpenr," a6tuated by an " evil fpirit r'* Can 
it reafonably be fuppofed, that he would, when 
he had created man, have fuffered the devil^ 
before he had made any confiderable advances in 
knowledge . and experience of the world, to 

" tempt'; 


«' tempt" him, fo as to draw him into fin ; and, 
in this way, bring ruin upon himfelf ? Is this a 
fit thought to entertain of that God, who, of his 
mere goodnefs, had given him exiftence, that he 
might be happy in the love, fervice, and enjoy-^ 
rnent of the original fource of all being, and 
of all good ? 

The anfwer is this : It is in fact true, that 
fin and forrow now are, and all along have 
been, in the world, however difficult it may be 
to account for their entrance. And difficult it 
really is, and vaftly fo, upon the principle of 
^' reafon," as well as " revelation.'' The great- 
eft philofophers, in all ages, have found it a 
depth they could not fathom. The queftion, 
therefore, remains unrefolved by them to this 
day, TTohv TO KXKovy '^ whcttcc came evil ?'* It 
is not pretended, that the difficulty is removed 
by what is faid upon the matter in the facred 
books. It is a difficulty ftill ; though not fo 
great an one as it was before. It is certainly lef- 
fened, and not increafed. 

The difficulty, as peculiar to the Mofaic hif- 
tory, and as Itated in the above objedion, lies in 
this, that fin, and ruin thereupon, fhould be 
occafioned by " temptation" from an *' evil 
fpirit,'* and as pradifed upon the firft parents 
of men, before there had been time for their 
making any '^ confiderable improvements" in 
knowledge, experience, and goodnefs. 



As to the firft part of this fuggefted difficultf, 
man's being led into fin by ** temptation from 
** an evil fpirit," I would fay. 

Temptation, in general, is the only conceiv- 
able, it may be, the only pofTible way, in which 
innocent man could have been induced to fin. 
It would be ftrange, unaccountably fo, if he had 
finned without any confideration exciting him 
hereto. But he could not have been excited, 
without being tempted. To excite to fin, in 
whatever view it be confidered, is to tempt to it. 
The terms, though different, yet carry in them, 
at leaft in the prefect cafe, one and the fame 
meaning. To fay, therefore, that our firft fa- 
ther could not have been placed in a flate of 
temptation, is, in reality of fenfe, to fay, that 
he muft have been impeccable j which is the 
privilege, perhaps, of no creature in virtue of his 
mere natural powers, however advanced we may 
fuppofe them to be. 

Befides, the placing man in a flate wherein he 
might be tempted, generally confidered, is not 
a difiicuky peculiar to the Scripture. It is the 
truth, refpefting all mankind, that they are fent 
into a v/orld full of temptation 5 which is a dif- 
ficulty, fo far as it is one at all, in point of reafon 
as well as revelation. And it as much concerns 
thofe to folve ir, who have faith only in the be- 
ing, perfections, and moral government of God, 
as thofe who, befides this, have faith in the 
B'ble, as a revelation of his will. 



The difficulty, therefore, as it relates to the 
prefent objedlion, lies only in this fpecial circum- 
flance of the temptation, its being managed by 
" an evil fpirit/' And why not by an evil fpi* 
rit, as well as by an evil man, or by a world fo 
conftituted as to be capable of being a tempta- 
tion, by its fmiles or frowns? It is not at all 
unphilofophical to fuppofe the exigence of angels, 
either good or bad. We may more reafonably 
think, there are intelligent moral beings of va- 
rious orders fuperior to ours, than that there are 
not. It is indeed the general opinion of '^ rea- 
foners," that thus it really is. And analogy 
would lead one to imagine, that there may be, 
among thefe orders, fome that are evil as well as 
good. What relation or connedlion there is 
between thefe fuperior intelligences, and us men, 
we know not with any degree of certainty ; but 
fhould any take upon them to affirm there are 
none, and that God might not ufe them as in- 
ilruments in the government of our world, they 
would fay more than they have any warrant to 
do. It is no ofFence againfl: any dictate of fober 
rcafon, to fuppofe the truth of what the Scrip- 
ture declares, that the good angels are God's 
" minifters fent forth to minifterto them who are 
lieirs of falvation;" and that the evil angels 
are permitted by him, as his wifdom fees fit, to 
*' work in thofe who are already the children of 
difobedience i" and in others, in order to tempt 
them to be fo. And what difference is there, 



in the reafon of the thing, between a temptation, 
arifing from the folicitations of a wicked man, 
and of an evil angel ? If the temptation, whether 
it comes from the one or the other, is not fuf-' 
fered by God to be difproportioned to the flrength 
of the agent that is tempted, but he is left, not- 
withftanding, to his own choice, fo as that it 
"will be, properly fpeaking, his " own fault,'' 
ihould he comply with it, what juft reafon is 
there for complaint? And what greater reafon 
for it, fl:ould it be managed by the " devil," 
than by thofe who are his children ? It does not 
appear to make any alteration in the tmc nature 
of the cafe, or its afped on the moral attributes 
and governm.ent of God, whether the former or 
the latter are the tempters to evil. 

I may not improperly add here, if it became 
the wifdom and goodnefs of the all-perfedl Be- 
ing, to fufFer our firft parents to be " tempted'* 
in any way whatever [and why not they, as well 
as their pofterity ever fince], this, in which 
Mofes fays it was done, is as natural and ra- 
tional a one as can eafily be imagined. PofTi- 
bly, it was the only one, confidering their then 
fituation, in which their virtue could have been 
proved by their having opportunity and occa- 
fion to a6t their part well when tempted to the 
contrary. Inordinancy of appetite could have 
been no temptation to them ; for this had not as 
yet any place in them. A temper of mind in- 
clining them to oppofe the authority of God, 

, could 

D I S S E R t A 1 1 O IsT II. 77 

could be no temptation to them ; for they were 
totally void of fuch a difpofition. How then 
could they have been tempted, but in a way 
adapted to lead them into an apprchenfion of 
the command of their Creator, that differed from 
what it really intended ? This, accordingly, is 
the method Mofcs has related. And as to 
*^ Satan's" being the agent in endeavouring thus 
to delude them, it is as natural as any part of 
the ftory, and ftridly rational. What other be- 
ing could have done this ? It would be glaringly 
abfurd to fuppofe fuch a thing of God, or the 
holy angels. And Adam and Eve, the only in- 
telligent beings now exifting in our world, could 
not, in this way, have been tempters to each 
other, till they had previoufly lofl their inno- 
cency. Who then but fome " evil intelligence,'* 
of fome other clafs of beings, could have afled 
the part of a tempter to them ? And, as it was 
in " man's voice" that God fpake to them, when 
he reflrained them, by his command, from "eat- 
*' ing" of fuch a particular tree in the garden, 
the way was pointed out, in which it would be 
moft natural to fuppofe Satan fhould addrefs to 
them in order to deceive them. It perfedly 
agrees with his charadter as a fubtle, as well as 
wicked fpirit, to think that he would fpeak to 
them in "man's voice," as God had done jufl: 
before. Nor is it abfurd to fay, that God might 
permit this application of Satan to them, any 
more than it would be to fay, he might permit 



him, in like manner, to tempt their pofterity, or 
fuffer them to be tempted in any other way : 
always provided, that he fo luperintends and go- 
verns the temptation, that it fhall be only a 
proper trial of virtue, a trial adjufled to men's 
ftate and charader; and fuch as, notwithftand- 
ing the temptation, will leave them juftly 
chargeable with fin, as being themfelves the 
*' faulty caufes," if they are drawn afide to a 
compliance with the thing they are tempted to. 

And this leads me to the other branch of the 
objedtion, Satan's being permitted to tempt our 
firll parents " before they had time for any 
confiderable improvements in knowledge and 

To which I would fay, that it makes no real 
alteration, in the rcafon of the thing, whether 
their improvements were fmall or great, as hav- 
ing had a (horteror longer time for the advances 
proper to their nature, if the temptation did not 
exceed their abilities; but was fuch only as they 
might have overcome, and would have over- 
come, had it not been their own fault. And 
this was evidently the truth of the cafe, as Mo- 
fcs has related it. There does not appear any 
thing in the temptation beyond the flrength of 
the firft man and woman, however unimproved 
we can reafonably fuppofe therw to have been. 
Satan's addrefs contained little more than a bold, 
impudent contradidion of what God had faid to 
them. God had told them, " they fhould die, 
" if they cat of the forbidden tree." Satan tells 

4 them. 


them, " they Ihould not die," but rather 
«* become wife, and knowing as Gods.'* This 
is the whole of what he faid. And furely the 
firft man and woman muft have been unim- 
proved beyond all reafonable conception of their 
character, if they were not able to have refilled 
this temptation. It is indeed a temptation ad- 
jufted to fmall advances in knowledge; but 
thofe fmall advances were abundantly fufficient 
to have overcome it. To be fure, there appears 
nothing in the hidory, relative either to the 
temptation, or the abilities of our firft parents, 
that fhould lead one to think they were tempted 
above what they might have borne, without be- 
ing feduced into fin. 

It appears, I v/ould hope, upon the whole,, 
that the account Mofes has given us of the ^^ fall" 
of our firft parents, far from being trifling, ridi- 
culous, or abfurd, and therefore incredible in 
itfelf, is grave, folid, and rational ; not juftly 
liable to the objedlions that have been raifcd 
againft it, but as unexceptionable as any that can 
be thought of, and therefore an account that no 
one need be aftiamed to own that he receives, as 
containing the real truth. 

It is acknowledged, Mofes has faid nothing 
upon the queftion, how could our firft parents 
have been drawn afide to difobey God, by means 
of the deviTs temptation, when they might, 
notwithftandingj have retained their innocency, 
and were furniftied with fufficient ability here- 



for ? Neither has he offered any thing to recon- 
cile God's permitting hina to fin, with the moral 
attributes of his nature; which is the greatefl 
difficulty by far that attends the cafe. But he 
may eafily be cxcufed for his filence upon thefe 
points, if it be confidered, that he was, in his 
own proper charader as a man, unable to give 
a faiisfadlory account of thefe matters, and that 
God did not fee fit to inftrud him how to do it; 
and for this, among other reafons, bccaufe, in the 
prefent flate of our faculties, we may be inca- 
pable of feeing to the bottom of fo great a depth. 
But then, it ought to be remembered, thefe are 
difficulties not peculiar to revelation. However 
fin firft came into the world, whether in the way 
Mofes has related, or any other, the queflions flill 
recur, and in their full force — How came man to 
fin ? How came the infinitely holy and good God 
not to prevent the entrance of that into the world, 
which is fo odious in his fight, and deftrudlive in 
its confequences, when, fo far as we are able to 
conceive of the matter, he might, with infinite 
eafe, have done it ? And it becomes thofe to 
ceafe from clamouring againft revelation upon 
thefe points, who do not find themfelves able^ 
upon the foot of folid reafon, to give a clear and 
fatisfaclory folution of them. For it as truly be- 
longs to them to do this, as thofe who are be- 
lievers in Mofes and the prophets, in JefusChnft 
and his apoftlcs. 

II. The 


II. The other thing mentioned as worthy of 
fpecial notice is, the " efFe(5l" that was confe- 
quent upon the lapfe of our firft parents, both 
*^ natiirar* and "judicial," 

What " naturally" followed upon their offence, 
Mofes has handed to us thus. 

Genesis, Chap. Ill, 

7. " And the eyes of them both were opened, 
and they knew that they were naked ; and they 
fewed fig-leaves together, and made themfelves 

8. *' And they heard the voice of the Lord 
God, walking in the garden in the cool of the 
day : and Adam and his wife hid themfelves 
from the prefence of the Lord God among the 
trees of the garden." 

9. " And the Lord God called to Adam, and 
faid unto him, Where art thou ?" 

10. " And he faid, I heard thy voice in the 
garden : and I was afraid, becaufe J was na- 
ked ; and I hid myfdf." 

11. " And he faid. Who told thee that thou 
waft naked ? Haft thou eaten of the tree, 
whereof I commanded thee that thou fliouldeft 
not eat r" 

12. " And the man faid. The woman whom 
thou gaveft to be with me, Ihe gave me of the 
tree, and I did eat." 

13. *^ And the Lord God faid unto the wo- 
man, What is this that thou haft done ? And 

G the 


the woman fald. The ferpent beguiled me, and 
I did cat." 

The firft thing related as confequent upon the 
difobedience of Adam and Eve is, that " their 
eyes were opened s*' not in the fenfe they were 
told they would be, when the ferpent fpake to 
them, but in a quite different one. The eyes of 
their underftanding were opened, not to make 
them '^ wife and knowing as Gods," but to fee 
themfelves guilty creatures, and, as fuch, ex- 
pofed to the righteous difpleafure of their 
Maker. They now knew more than they did 
before; but it was knowledge accompanied with 
felf-difapprobatiofi 3 arifing from an inward con- 
fcioufnefs of having tranfgrelTed the command of 
God, which defcrved punifhment, they v/ere at a 
lofs how to efcape. 

It therefore follows, " they knew that they 
v;ere naked." If thefe words are interpreted, 
as they commonly have been, to fignify that they 
were now afFefled with ^' fhame," being without 
any ^V veftment to cover their bodies," the mean- 
ing could not be juftified upon any principle of 
folid reafon. Why fhould they, in this fenfe, 
be afhamed of their nakednefs after their fall, any 
more than before it? If being together without 
any cover on their bodies was, in the nature of 
the thing, a jufl ground for fliame, they ought 
1:9 have been afaamed before their offence in 



eating of the forbidden tree. If it was fhameful 
in its own nature, it was fo before as well as after 
the lapfe. Befides, this fenfe of the word is 
quite foreign to the purpofe for which it is here 
inferted. Mofes, therefore, fpeaks of " fear/* 
not *' Ihame/' as the pafTion that was now excited 
in them. It is accordingly obfervable, he brings 
in Adam, upon God's call to him, as Hiying, 
ver. JO. "I was afraid, becaufe I was naked, 
and I hid myfelf." Surely, his being '^ afraid,'* 
and thereupon •' hiding himfelf," did not arife 
from this fentiment, that " his body was naked," 
meaning hereby, that it was not " clothed !" 
What pertinency is there in this fenfe of the word 
to his prefent condition, as a finful, expofed crea- 
ture ? It would have been ridiculous in him to 
have given it as the reafon of his '* fear" to come 
before God, that he had no clothes on, when the 
true and only reafon was, that he had difobeyed 
his command, and thereby incurred his difplea- 
fure: nor will any other reafon confifl with the 
fcope and circumiftances of the fbory, of which 
this word is an important part. 

Perhaps, the phrafe, " they were naked,'* may 
be fairly conftrued, they were in an '' uncovered 
Hate," not concealed from the fight, and with- 
out all defence or protection againfl the refent- 
ments of God. A late valuable writer has, I 
think, very jultly obferved, '' that the word we 
'' render « naked," befides its mod obvious fig- 
" nification, is ufed, by a fort of metaphor, in 
*' other fenfes, in many places of the Scriptures." 

Cr 2 He 


He particularly mentions, that in Job, where it 
is faid, *' Hell is [naroin] naked before him, and 
^' deftruflion hath no covering ;" that is, <' hell 
<^ and deftrudllon lie open, not concealed from 
" the eye, nor in any way covered from the ven- 
" geance of God." This fenfe of the word, as 
ufed by Mofes, is exadtly fuited to the charader 
and ftate of the perfons to whom it is applied, 
and carries in it a pertinent, fignificative, and 
fcrong meaning. It is natural to fuppofe the 
palTion of " fear," in Adam and Eve, was fet 
in motion from a fenfe of fin and guilt j efpe- 
cially as their eyes told them " they were naked,'* 
that is, in a defencelefs ftate, altogether unco- 
vered from the fight and ftrokc of their Maker, 
who had threatened them with death, in cafe of 
difobedience. And no wonder, if their thoughts 
run upon contriving fome method to cover them- 

It is, therefore, added in the next following 
words, in perfect agreement with what has been 
offered, *' they fewed fig-leaves together, and 
*^ made themfelves aprons." Says the above 
named Author, with great propriety, " the 
«^ word which we render *' leaves" is, in the 
<' text, not " plural," but *' fingular j" and, I 
'^ apprehend, that both here, and in fome other 
«' places of Scripture, it ihould be rendered, not 
*^ leaves," but a ^^ foliature," or ^' intertwining of 
<^ leaves " and that the whole paragraph fhould 
«« be thus tranflated : " They wreathed together 
«< a foli^Hure of a fig-tree, and made themfelves 

^' enwrap- 


D I S S E R T A T I O N II. S5 

enwrapments," /. e, they wrapped themfelves 

up in them." What they wanted was to '' hide 
^* themfelves from God.'* An apron, or cinciure 
** about their waifts would in novvife anfwer this 
*^ purpofe; — but the cafing themfelves up with- 
*^ in boughs full of leaves, to look like trees, 
" they might imagine would be fufHcient to cover 
"them from the fight of God." 

It may feem a reflection on the intclle6lual 
powers of the firfl parents of mankind, to fup- 
pofe them capable of thinking, that they could 
conceal themfelves from the fight of God by fo 
trifling a cover as the befl: that could be made 
of " fig-leaves." But it ought to be confidereJ, 
this did not difcover greater weakncfs, t^ian their 
attempt to " hide themfelves from him among 
the trees of the garden ;" which yet isexprefsly 
aflirmed of them. 

It fhould be remembered here, as we pafs 
along, it is, from this part of the fl:ory, made 
evident beyond all difpute, that the advances of 
our firfl: parents in knowledge were as ytt but 
fmall. Surely, if they had been that perfeclly 
knowing pair it has been often faid they were, it 
would be altogether unconceivable, that they 
fliould have endeavoured, in fuch a poor low 
way, to have fcreened themfelves from the eye 
and power of God. It is true, they had now lod 
their innocence; but nothing is faid that would 
lead one to think, they had lofl: their under- 
fl:andings too, or that they knew lefs ** fpecula- 
tively'' of God now, than they did before. 
G 3 The 


The knowledge of their *Mieads," whatever that- 
of their " hearts" might be, was much the 
fame immediately after, that it was before 
their " one offence." They certainly had not 
attained beyond an " infantile" kind of know- 
ledge and experience. And in this view of their 
character, they might, as they had loft the 
guidance of God to follow their own counfel> 
be fo ignorant before him as, in the hurry of 
their thoughts, through guilt and fear, to go 
into the methods of fafety here fpecified, however 
foolifh they m.ay appear to thofe who have more 
knowledge of God and the world. 

The plain truth is, " fhame/* arifing from 
the want of clothes to cover their nakednefs, 
could not be the paffion now working in their 
breafts. They had offended their Creator and 
God by a prefumptuous zd: of difobedience, 
hereby rendering themfelves liable to immediate 
death. Their " eyes v/ere opened" to fee their 
fin and danger. They were, hereupon, inwardly 
moved and affected — With what? Surely, not with 
*' fhame," becaufe they had no garment to cover 
their bodies. What connedlion has this with 
their prefent flate of confcious guilt ? Their 
thoughts could not have been employed upon 
fo trifling an affair. No ; " fear" was the paf- 
fion that alarmed their hearts. And this put 
them, in the prefent confufed ftate of their 
minds, upon firft providing a *' cover for their 
bodies," and then upon '' hiding themfelves 
among the trees in the garden," that they 
might, if poffiblc, efcape the obfcrvation of 


D t S S E R T A T 1 O N tl. g^ 

their Maker: all which is natural, audjuft whac 
might have been expeded of perfons in their cir- 

I am not infenfible, there is another way, in 
which fome have endeavoured, v/hile they ex- 
plain the word " naked" in its moil obvious 
ftni^e, to give it a proper place, and fignificative 
force, in the Mofaic flory. Ic is by fuppofing, 
that Adam and Eve, in their innocent ftate, were 
" covered with a robe of glory," as the badge 
or fymbol of their fuperiority and dignity •, but 
that, being ftripped of it immediately upon their 
lapfe, they knew, by feeing themfelves to be 
" naked," deprived of this glorious veftmenr, that 
they had forfeited the favour of their Maker, 
and lay expofed to his righteous difpleafure. This, 
it is acknowledged, will give an important fenfe 
to the word, and fuch an one as will perfedlly 
confift with the whole account of their fall, of 
which it is a part. And was there fufficient 
reafon to receive it for truth, that our firft na- 
rents were thus " covered with a robe of glory,*' 
while innocent, but " ftripped" of it after they 
had finned, I fhould readily fall in with the {enCe 
that is herefrom put upon the term *^ naked." I 
will not fay, the patrons of this opinion have 
nothing to offer in vindication of it. Perhaps, 
it is rather grounded on plaufible conjei5lures 
from certain *^ modes of fpeech" fometimes to 
be met with in the Scriptures, than on reafons 
that will bear a thorough examination, Mofes 

G 4 does 


does not feem to countenance it, unlefs from the 
connected ufe of the word ** naked j" which, as 
we have feen, nnay be otherwife accounted for. 
And it is remarkable, he has exprefsly faid con- 
cerning the firft pair, in their innocent ftate, that 
*' they were both naked," the man and his wife, 
*^ and they were not alliamed*." It was not, there- 
fore, when they were firft created, that they were 
thus " clad with glory ;'* but afterwards^, if at all : 
of which the facred hiftorian has made no men- 

* *' It is very obvious to remark," fays one, ** how our tranfia- 
" tors and commentators came to have a notion of Adam and 
*' Eve's *' fhame" for their *' nakedneff.'* It being here ob- 
** ferved, that no Ihame attended their being naked before they 
♦' eat of the tree, it was concluded, that a *' ftiame of being 
" naked" entered with fm into the world." But," fays he, 
among other things, ** I apprehend the truth to be, that this 
" verfe was not intended at all to fpeak of their being *• naked 
" as to clothing.*' As the word ** naked" has metaphorical 
" fenfes in the Old Tellannent ; fo alfo has the word which we 
** here tranflate *' afhanr.ed." It is far from fignifying, in all 
'* places, being afFedted with what we call the paffion of 
*' fhame." It often means being '*' confounded," or" dellroy- 
u ed.'' — And this was Mnfes's meaning in the word here ufed ; 
** a meaning of it perfedly coinciding with what afterwards ap- 
** peared to be his fentiment of man's ftandingperfonally to hear 
** the voice of God. Mofes elfewhere (peaks of i: to be noor- 
" dinary mercy, that a man ** fhould hear the voice of God and 
•* live ;'* and therefore he might here leave us this obfervation 
** concerning our firft parents, that God fpake to them, and 
*' that, although they flood *' naked" before him, /'. e. in his 
** more immeciate prefence under ** no coverture," nigh to him 
«« to *' hear the voice of his words talking to them," they ex- 
" pcrienced what Mofcs always reputed a very extraordinary 
«' thin'^, that " God did ta!k with jtian,*' and they were net 
«* confounded," but** lived," 



tion. And I know of no nght others have to 
fupply this defed:. 

I fhould now have proceeded, according to 
the method laid our, to confider the " judicial'' 
confequences of the lapfe, as they refpedl the firfl 
man and woman. But it will be previoufly pro- 
per to take fome notice of thofe remarkable in- 
tervening words of Mofes. 

Ver. 14. " And the Lord God faid unto the 
ferpent, Becaufe thou had done this, thou arc 
curfed above all cattle, and above every bead 
of the field: upon diy belly fhak thou go, and 
duft flialt thou eat all the days of thy life." 

15. " And I will put enmity between thee 
and the woman, and between thy {'ctd and her 
feed ^ it fhall bruife thy head, and thou fiiak 
bruife his heel/' 

It may be needful jud to fay here, as God 
knew, though Adam and Eve might nor, that ic 
was the" devil," in the body of the " ferpent,*' 
and not the ferpent himfelf, that had managed 
the temptation by which they were led into 
fin 5 it is noways unnatural or unreafonable to 
fuppofe, that it was in reality " the devil 
in the ferpent," and not " the ferpent him- 
felf," to whom thefe words arc directed : though, 
being fpoken in the prefence of the man and the 
woman, and with a view to their attending to them, 
they are exprefled according to the "appearance'' 
of things, and their " apprchenfions" concerning 

them. Having obferved this, I go on. 



The '^ ferpent" may be the objedt of the curfc 
pronounced in the former of thefe verfes; though 
the words are addreffed to the " devil," who aded 
in him : and the " devil/' not the ferpent, his 
inftrument in what had been done, may be aimed 
at in the latter. 

In the firft of thefe verfes, though Satan, who 
was invifibly prefent in the body of the ferpent, 
is the agent really fpoken to 3 yet the " ferpent/' 
his inftrument only, may be the more immediate 
obje6t of the curfe pronounced. As if it had been 
faid, not mentioning the " devil," but the " fer- 
pent," and hereby accommodating the language 
to the ^'outward appearance," thou hafl: been in- 
llrumental in drawing the man and the woman, 
whom I had made, into an acl of open and dar- 
ing rebellion againft my authority. As a token, 
therefore, of my difpleafu re, and to guard againft 
the like difobedience for the future, I degrade 
you> the inftrument in this wickednefs, into an 
inferior fort of creature. Like a low reptile, you 
Ihali hereafter crawl upon your belly, and feed 
upon the duft of the earth ; and thus it fhall be 
with all that fliall derive their exiftence from 

There is no difficulty in fuppofing " fuch a de- 
gradation," with refpect to the power of Al- 
mighty God. He could as eafily, by fpeaking 
only a word, alter the kind of any creature, as 
give it at firft. 

But it may feem ftrange, as the devil only was 
" agent'* in the fedudion of Adam and Eve, the 



ferpent being nothing more than the vifible fornn, 
or material figure/ that he aduated 3 I fay, it 
may feein ftrange, that the " ferpent," in this 
cafe, fhould be treated as though lie had been 
worthy of blame, when he really was not; or, in 
other words, that he fhould be ^^ curfed" for do- 
ing what he was naturally incapable of doing, and 
was in fad wholly done by another; efpecially, 
that he fliould be dealt with in fo fevere a man- 
ner, being obliged to fuffer " a degradation of his 
kind,"; infomuch that he, and all that fliould 
proceed from him, fhould be groveling reptiles, 
feeding upon duft. 

This I readily acknowledge to be a difficulty, 
and a great one too : nor is it capable of being 
folved upon the fuppofition, that the ^' ferpeiit" 
had " merited" the difpleafure of God, or that he 
was reduced to this low flate as a " punifhment'* 
for what he had done; for he was no " agent" in 
the cafe, and had really done nothing. It ought 
to be confidered in a quite different view. And 
perhaps we may, by one or two fimilar inflances, 
be led to conceive of it in a manner that will con- 
fifl with the wifdom, juftice, and goodnefs of the 
divine government. 

It is laid, in ver. 23. of this chapter, that God 
" curfed the ground." Not furcly on account 
of its having deferved to be curfed ; for it was, in 
the nature of the thing, incapable of fuch defert. 
But he did this ^' for man's fake," that it might 
be an occafion of '^ toil and forrow" to him, be- 
caufe he had finned. And might he not as well 

" curfe 



^' curfe the ferpent ?" Not on account of any 
thing he had done to deferve this curfe, but " for 
man's fake" alfo, that it nnight be an occafion of 
" benefit" to him, by putting hinn upon his guard 
againfl fin for the future, as he would now have 
before his eyes fuch a vifible teftimony of what 
God would do in refentment of it. The evil 
brought upon the ferpent might be, in a way of 
difpenfation, for the good of man. The end in view 
here, according to this interpretation, is the reverfe 
of that intended by the '^ curfe" brought upon 
the earth. And it is remarkable, the curfe of the 
earth is fpoken of in that part of the hiftory, which 
relates to the" punilliment" cf man; whereas 
this is mentioned, where God is introduced as 
opening his defign of " mercy" towards him. 
What therefore is here reprefented as a " curfe" 
either to the '^ ferpent," or the <' devil" ading in 
him, ought to be looked upon as, in the fame 
proportion, a " blefiing" to man. 

In like manner, it was a law in Ifrael of God's 
making, and promulging, that " if an ox gore 
a man or a v/oman, that they die, the ox fhall be 
furely ftoned, and his flefh fhall not be eaten." 
Exod. xxi. 28. It will not be pretended, that the 
ox was a moral agent, or that death could be in- 
fii(5led on him as a " punilhment" on account of 
what had happened. No; but the wifdom and 
goodnefs of this law lay in this, that it was a pro- 
per guard upon man's life, a reafonable provifion 
for l^is fafety and fecurity. How ? Not from any 
tendency it had to make other oxen afraid to gore 
2 ^^^ 



men to death -, but as it was naturally fuited to 
put the owners of them upon due care to guard 
them againft doing this mifchief. The good of 
men was the great aim of this law. And why 
might not the " ferpent," upon the like g^ood 
intention, though not for any " crime" he could 
be charged with, be reduced to a lower ftate of 
being ? He was incapable, it is owned, of this 
degradation, in point of defert: but who can fay 
it was not wife and fit, with regard to the fafety of 
man ? He might, had not God thus dealt with 
him, have been a creature adapted, in his nature, 
to be far more mifchievous and hurtful to man- 
kind, than he now is : or however this was, his 
" degradation" in the prefence of Adam and Eve, 
who thought it was he that had beguiled them into 
fin, might, at lead, as to them, be a vifible ex-^ 
ample of the difpleafure of God, and ferve as a 
" (landing memento" to put them upon their 
guard againfl being again drawn afide by tempta- 
tion. And to their " pofterity," who, by after 
revelations, knew more of this matter than they 
did, it might be of great ufe, as it obvioufly 
points out the heinous nature of fin, and what 
may be expected as the confequence of it, v/hen a 
creature that was nothing more than an '^ inftru- 
ment" aduated by another in tempting to the 
commilTion of it^ was, in the righteous govern- 
ment of God, for wife and good ends, degraded 
into a lower kind of being. 

This is all 1 am able to fay in folution of the 
objedled difficulty. If any Ihould think it infuiri- 



clent:, I will lay before them, in a brief fummary 
way, what Dr. Shuckford has offered, upon 
another plan of interpretation, to fet this part of 
the Mofaic hiftory in an eafy and unexceptionable 

Says he, the Hebrew particle, r/, rendered in 
this place, " becaufe,'* might have been tranflated 
*^ although.'* Several inftances, in illulirration of 
this, he has brought to view; and feme others 
might be added to them. Having obferved this, 
he confiders this ver. 14. as an apoftrophe de- 
livered to the ferpent in the prefence of Adam 
and Eve, defigned to evince to them, what a 
folly, as well as crime, they had been guilty of, 
in being deceived by fo low a feducer. The 
words are, as if God had faid to the ferpent ; 
'^ although" thou haft done this great mifchicf, 
*^ yet thou art no lofty and refpedable creature : 
" Thou art one of the meaneft of all animals: 
*• Thou art not raifed to any high form, but art 
*' a mere reptile, and fhall always continue to be 
*^ fo : upon thy belly thou art made to go, and 
'^ (lialt feed low all the days of thy life in the 
*f very duft. Adam and Eve had conceived high 
" notions of the ferpent, ** above all the beads of 
*' the field, which the Lord had made;" but God 
" here reprehends their foolifh fancy, and fets be- 
*' fore them, what their own eyes might have told 
" them, that the ferpent was a creature, made 
'' only for a very low life, and that no fuch ele- 
"■ vation as they imagined could ever belong to 
'' him." 

I freely 


I freely own, this would be the befl account 
I have met with of the meaning of thefe words, 
if it could be well reconciled with the form of 
di6lion here ufed, " curfed art thou above all 
cattle — upon thy belly fiialt thou go — and eat 
duft." — One is naturally led, from this manner of 
fpeaking, to think, that the ferpent was deprived 
of fomething he before poflcfTed, and that the 
" curfe" lay in this " deprivation." The Dr. 
was fenfible of this difficulty, and in order to 
guard againft it has faid, " to be <^ curfed," may be 
" to have fome fignal mifchief or great evil, 
*' either wifhed to, or inflided upon the perfon 
" curfed. This indeed is the general fignification 
'^ of the word. But it ought to be confidered, 
'^ whether it is contrary to the nature of the He- 
*^ brew tongue, to call a thing " curfed," when 
" fuch circumllances belong to it as are fo ex- 
" tremely bad, that it might be deemed as un- 
«^ happy a thing, even as a rnoft fevere curfc, to 
*' be under them, though they be not inflifled 
*^ as a particular judgment. In this fenfe the 
" Jews, in our Saviour's time, called their vul- 
" gar or common people, who, they thought, 
" could not know the law, ^' curfed."— It is no 
*^ unnatural way of fpeaking, to fay of poor, bar- 
" ren, and unprofitable land, that it is "curfed" 
*^ ground, not only when God may have been 
«f pleafed to make " fruitful land barren for the 
<f wickednefs of them that dwell therein,'* as was 
^' particularly the cafe of the earth " thus curfed," 
^' upon our firft parents having finned j but alfo 

<^ when 


" when the land is very fterile and unfruitfuh 
*' though no particular curfe of God has ever been 
*^ denounced againft it. In the Hebrew tongue, 
<' we often find things eminently excellent in 
^* their kind, faid therefore to be of God ^ <^ Ce- 
'< daj-s of Lebanon," highly flourilhing, to be for 
^' that reafon of God's planting : fo^ on the con- 
«' trary, the word " curfed" naay as reafonably be 
'^ ufed, ns it v/cre in co a craft, where God had 
*' given no appearance of a blefTjng. Adam and 
<« Eve were thinking highly of the ferpent : the 
*« defign of what God now faid, was to Ihew them 
*« that he was a creature deferving their loweft 
<« notice : They thought him above any beaft of 
«^ the field which the Lord had made: The words 
^f here fpoken were to tell them, that he v/as not 
<« above, but beneath all others s fo creeping and 
«' abjedt, that his make and form might be fpoken 
<' of in terms, as if they were a " curfe'' upon 
<^' him." 

The reader is left to judge wherein, and how 
far, the Dr. has removed this difficulty. "If he 
has really done it, I know of no reafon why we 
may not reft entirely fatisfied with the interpreta- 
tion he has given us. 

The words that follow, in ver. 15. '^ And I will 
put enmity between thee and the woman, and be- 
tween thy feed and her feed; it fiiall bruife thy 
head, and thou fhalt bruife his heel :" Thefe 
words, I fay, are a continuation of what God faid 
to the " devil/' now prefent in the body of the 
ferpent j and principally relate to his " total 



overthrow,'* as the " tempter" and <^ deftroyer" 
of man, by " one" who fhould be of ** the feed 
of the woman :" Though the mode of diflion, 
conformably to that which had all along been 
ufed before, is fuch, that neither Adam or Eve 
may be thought to have had any other than alow 
and imperfed conception of what was hereby 
really meant. 

Not that they had reafon from thefe words then, 
or any of their pofterity fince, to imagine, that 
the contefl, here fpoken of, between " the fer- 
pent and his feed," and the " v/oman's feed," lay 
in this, that ferpents would be apt to ** bite men's 
heels, and men in return to break their heads.'* 
It would be a dilhonour to Mofes's chara6ler> 
confidered only as an hiftorian, to fuppofe he 
could intend any thing fo low and ridiculous ; 
efpecially, when writing upon matters of fuch in- 
terefting importance. And it would equally re- 
fled upon the underftandings of our firft parents, 
to think them capable of taking his words in fo 
contemptible a fenfe. If they did not, by this 
time, begin to fufped, that fome fuperior agent 
might have ufed the ferpent in the temptation by 
which they were overcome; they, doubtlefs, un- 
derftood what was now delivered by God as im- 
porting, that there (hould be a contefl:, and viftory 
thereupon, in relation to, and agreement with, 
the main thing in view, their having been 
*^ tempted" and " overcome" by the ferpent; 
that is to fay, they muft have underfl:ood it as a 
contefl: with the ferpent in his charader as a 
H " tempter" 


'* tempter" and ^^ feducer," in which chara6lers 
he fhould be conquered, as he had conquered 

h ought to be remembered here, thefe words 
were directed to the '^ devil," invifibly prefent in 
the ierpent, and not to Adam or Eve. There is 
no neceffity therefore to fuppofe, that they under- 
(tood, or that it was intended by God they fhould 
underftand, the full meaning of them. It is true, 
as they were uttered in their hearing, and with a 
view, doubtlefs, to their receiving comfort from 
ihem under their prefent guilty circumflances, it 
may reafonably be expedted, they ihould fufii- 
ciently underftand them for this purpofe. If 
they underftood them only according to the con- 
ception they may be fuppofed to have had then of 
the ferpent, as one that had been the occafion of 
great damage to them, they would naturally and 
obvioufly have looked upon them as a kind pro- 
vifion of God for their fecurity in time to come j 
it being hereby engaged, that the power of the 
ferpent, not fimply as fuch, but as a <^ tempter" 
and ^'feducer," (hould be " deftroyed/' By what 
*' feed of the woman" this fliould be done, or 
when, or how, and after what manner, they had 
perhaps no idea at all. 

The real truth is, the words were a declaration 
from God, fummarily, though obfcurely, pro- 
mifing, or predidling, the *^ deflrudion" of the 
devil, that is, his power, intereil, and kingdom, 
notwithdanding what he had done, by '' one" 
who Hiou'l' proceed from " the woman." Not 



that Adam or Eve underftood much of the thing 
here promifed and predidted : Though thus much 
we know they did underftand by it, that it was aa 
inftance of the " divine favour" towards them j 
and that their condition, on account of their fin, 
would not be deplorably fatal, as they had reafon 
to expe6l. For, in confequence of thefe words, 
it became certain to them, that they fhould have 
«^ feed ;" which could not have been the cafe, if 
the " death threatened" had been, as it might 
have been, immediately inflidled on them. It is ' 
accordingly obferved, in ver. 23. that Adam 
*^ called his wife Eve, becaufe (he was the mo- 
ther of all living." 

Let it be only fuppofed^ as it all along is in the 
Mofaic hiftory, that Adam and Eve were not as 
yet fo far advanced in knowledge, but that they 
apprehended it was the '* ferpent," fua virtute^ 
that was their tempter, and the whole account 
willappear jufl: and natural. The remedy God 
had provided for their help, in their lapfed con- 
dition, is given in words adapted to the appear- 
ance of things, and their conceptions of them : 
nor is there any need tofuppofe, that they under- 
flood, or that it was intended they fhould have 
underftood, more than is literally contained in 
them, confidered, as they ought to be, in con- 
nexion with their guilty ftate, and the way in 
which they were brought into it. 

But this is no reafon why we, who are fa- 
voured with after-revelation, may not know much 
more of the meaning of thcfe words than they 
?I 1 did 


did, or it was defigned by God that they fhould. 
It is now plain to us, though it was not to thenn, 
that the " devil" was the " agent," and the 
" ferpent'* his " inflrument only" in the tempta- 
tion by which fin entered into the world. It is 
clear to us, though it was not to them, that 
" wicked men" are the feed of the devil, as hav- 
ing him for their father ^ and that there now is, 
and all along has been, a " conteft between him 
and his feed," and the " feed of the woman." It 
is now evident to us, though they were ignorant 
of it, that " Chriil" was the *^ feed of the wo- 
man;" as being, according to the flefh, " made 
of a woman," and born of her body. In fine, we 
are at no lofs to fay, though they had not light 
to fay it, that the " grand work" of Chrift, as 
the ** feed of the woman," was to " deftroy the 
devil," that is, his defign as the '^ tempter" of 
men -, and that he has been, and now is, carrying 
on this work, and will carry it on till it is com- 
pleted : though he has, and will meet with op- 
pofitioii herein from the " devil" and ^« his 

In confequence of thefe advances in knowledge 
beyond the firft man and woman, by being ac- 
quainted with after and more explicit promifes 
and predidions, together with the explanation of 
them in their accompliihment by Chrift, we are 
able, with a good degree of certainty, to fay, 
that the devil, under the name of the ferpent he 
actuated, is principally intended in the words 



under confideration ; and that the " bruifing the 
ferpent's head'* by the «' woman's feed" means, 
in allufion to the method of killing ferpents by 
flriking at their heads, the '' deflru^tion of the 
devil/' by Jefus Chrift; not his being, but his 
defign, his work and power, as the tempter and 
deftroyer of men. We have, in fhort, fufiicienc 
reafon to think, that the' plan of grace, the go- 
fpel-fcheme of falvation, which has been fince 
opened to the world, efpecially by the revelation 
of Jefus Chrift and his Apoftles, was the real 
truth here fummarily fpoken of. Not that Adam, 
or his pofterity in former ages, faw thefe things in 
the light we do, or that God intended they 
fhould. Perhaps it would not have confifted with 
the intermediate fteps in the accomplifhment of 
this full promife, to have delivered it in a man- 
ner fo explicit that thev might have thus under- 
ftood it. But this is no argument, that it did not 
really contain this meaning, or that we may not 
be rationally and fully convinced that it did ; 
confidering it in connexion with the fcheme of 
providence, as it has fince been opened, more 
efpecially in the revelation of God to his pro- 
phets, his Son Jefus Chrift; and the apoftles, and 
through them to us. We may, in confequence 
of thefe advantages, be able very eafily and clearly 
to perceive, that this was the real intention of 
God in his promife, or predi6lion, in the hear- 
ing of the tirft of our race, and that the words in 
which it is delivered are not only capable of this 
H 3 fenfe. 


fenfe, but as obvioufly and fully exprefTive of it 
as words fumrr.arily could be. And, in truth, it 
is with me one of the ftrongefb evidences of the 
divinity of the Scriptures, that this, and other 
ancient promifes and predictions, are fo worded, 
that the fcheme of falvation, as it has been gra- 
dually unfolding till thefe laft days, is very ob- 
vioufly, however comprehenfively, pointed out 
in them ; infomuch, that a fober inquirer can 
fcarce fail of perceiving, that one and the fame 
fcheme has been in profecution from the days of 
Adam : which fcheme, however dark to former 
ages, is now, in the times of the gofpel, made 
fuHiciently known to all men •, though the evi- 
dence is not fo full as it probably will be, when 
mankind are got ftill further into the accomplifh- 
ment of the *^ grand purpofe of God," generally 
declared in this original promife to Adam. 

Indead of faying any thing farther to fhew, 
that this 15th verfe, in the fenfe I have given it, 
contains fummarily the gofpel plan of falvation 
by Jefus Chrift, I would mention it as worthy of 
particular notice, that the method here provided 
for the relief of the firfl pair, and their after- 
poflerity, againft the hurtful confequences of the 
lapfe, was opened, though, at this time, in ob- 
fcure and general terms only, before the " fen- 
tence of condemnation'* was pronounced. God 
did not fee fie to proceed againft man in a '^ judi- 
cial*' way, till he had previoufly given himjuft 
rcafon to hope, that he might, notwithftanding 



this procefs, be rcinftated in his favour, and the 
enjoyment of happinefs. 

It is eafy to perceive, that the " judicial fen- 
tence," which was '^ confequent'* upon this re- 
medial grace, ought not to be underftood in a 
fenfe that will render this " grace" null and void; 
but fo as that they may harmonioufly coiififl: with 
each other. And, in this view of the matter, 
not only our firft parents, but their del cendants 
alfo throughout all generations, mud be looked 
on, notwithflanding the lapfe, and the '•' judi- 
cial" proceeding of God upon it, as under a di- 
vine eflablifliment of grace through ChriH:, in 
confequence of which they may " live," though 
they muft previoully die, and that " tor ever" in 
the enjoyment of God's favour. A mod import- 
ant and interefl'ng thought this I The apo'lle 
Paul had it diredly in his view, when he favs, 
** if through the offence of one, many be dead; 
much more the grace of God, by one man Jefus 
Chrifl, hath abounded to many, Rom. v. 15. And 
again, yer. 18. '^ As by the offence of one, judg- 
ment came upon all men to condemnation; even 
fo, by the righteoufnefs of one, the free-gift came 
upon all men to the juftification of life.'* He re- 
fers likewife to this fame provifion of grace, when 
he fpeaks of " the creature,*' the creature man 
more efpecially, as '^ fubjed to vanity;" Rom, 
viii. 20. but " in hope." Of what? It follows, 
of being " delivered from the bondage of cor- 
ruption into the glorious liberty of the children 
H 4 of 


of God.'* The foundation of this " hope" was 
the '^ promifed feed of the wooian to bruife the 
ferpent's head ;" which promife was made before 
it pleafed God to '' fubjed the creature*' man to 
that '^ vanity," which is here fpoken of. So that 
neither the firfl man or woman, nor any of their 
pofterity, are *' irreverfibly" under any doom of 
God, on account of the firft fin ; but notwith- 
{landing the utmoft that can be included in the 
" pronounced fentence" againft Adam and Eve, 
they are within the reach of God's favour, and 
under a *^ revealed conftitution of mercy,'* con- 
formably to which they may finally ** inherit eter- 
nal life." 

The way is now clear to confider the account 
Mofes has given us of the " judicial" confe- 
quences of the lapfe. And thefe are diftindlly 
related, as they refpedl both the ^' man" and the 
♦' woman." 

The hiftory begins with the " woman," to 
whom God "judicially" fays, ver. i6. " I will 
greatly multiply thy forrow, and thy conception: 
In forrow (halt thou bring forth children ; and 
thy defire fhall be to thy hufband, and he Ihall 
rule over thee." Thejuft import of thefe words 
is fo well known to the female fex by unhappy 
experience, that nothing need be faid in explana- 
tion of them, or to fliew that the daughters of 
Eve, in common with their mother, are deeply 
concerned in them. 



Only, it may be proper for their comfort to 
remark here, that women-kind may, upon the 
plan of grace through Chrift, fo behave under 
the forrows accompanying child-bearing, as to 
make them turn out in the end an occafion of 
falvation to them, according to thofe words of 
the apoflle Paul, i Tim. ii. 15. Notwithftand- 
ing, flie fhall be faved in child-bearings if they 
continue in " faith, and charity, and holinefs 
with fobriety.'' 

Dr. Taylor, in his note on Rom. vii. 5. In fup- 
port of an unufual fenfe he had put upon the pre- 
pofition ^iocy brings in this verfe as a parallel in- 
flance. The apoftle's words are, Iu^o-etcci o's J^i^ 
rmvofovixg, that is, fays the Dodor, ^^ (he fhall be 
faved ujider^ in the ftate of, or notwithftanding the 
procreation of children ; or although Ibe be en- 
gaged in the procreation of children, in oppofition 
to a ftate of virginity." But he has, without all 
doubt, mifunderftood the true force of the pre- 
pofition J'ia, in this place, and herefrom given 
an entirely wrongturn to the apoftle's thought. If 
conftrued here, in its ufual and moft proper fenfe, 
it will prefent us with a far more noble and fio-nj-. 
ficant meaning. I fhould render the palTage thus 
*^ Neverthelefs, fne ftiall be faved [in the full <>o- 
fpel fenfe of the word] by or through child-bear- 
ing ; that is, as the words that immediately fol- 
low are, " if they continue in faith, charity, and 
holinefs, with fobriety." \i is obfervable, " as 
the woman was firft in the tranfgreftion," which 



are the immediately foregoing words, it is na- 
tural to fuppofe the apollle might recur in his 
thoughts to the " curfe" pronounced againlt the 
*' woman" herefor, namely, " I will greatly 
multiply thy forrow, and thy conception : In for- 
row (halt thou bring forth children." Upon 
■which he adds, " Neverthelefs, notwithftanding, 
Ihe Ihall be faved, [in the full goJpei fenfe of the 
word] i^yy through, tn confeguence of^ child-bearing j 
if they continue in faith, &c." As if the apoflle 
had ^aid, ^* h^r bearing of children," as to the 
manner of it fince the lapfe, inftead of proving a 
*« curfe," fhall be an '' occafion" of everlafting 
falvation to her in heaven, if fhe does but make a 
wife and good ufe of the forrows and dangers (he 
is liable to pafs through in this circumftance of 
life^ improving them as a means in order to her 
continuing m faith, and a holy, fober condud of 
herfclf in life. This text appears to me an in-, 
fpired illuftration of the " way" or '* method*' 
in which the " curfe upon woman-kind" may, 
in confequence of the grace of God through Jefus 
Chrifl:, by being improved wifely as a *^ difcipli- 
nary trial," be turned into the greatefl: ^^ blefT- 
ing," their falvation in the eternal world. To un^. 
derftand by this *^ falvation," as Mr. Locke, Tay- 
lor, and mod commentators do, *' being carried 
fafely through the forrows and dangers of child^ 
bearing," appears to me to give it a compara- 
tively low meaning. Befides, it ought to be re- 
membered, it was not " death" in child-bearing 



that the woman was fubje6led to, but only *^for- 
row." Had it been "death," in the fame fenfe 
in which it was forrow, there could not have 
been a multiplication of the fpeciesj there was 
therefore neither occafion, nor reafon, for the 
apoflle's faying, " fhe fhall be faved," meaning 
hereby, fhe fnould not in this way fee death. 
Moreover, this meaning doth not confifl with the 
conditional provifo that follows, ^^ if they con- 
tinue in faith, and charity, and holinefs, with 
fobriety." For it is true in fad, that " infidel" 
and ^' vicious," as well as " believing" and 
'* virtuous," women are, in this fenfe, " faved ia 
child-bearing," and perhaps there is no vifible 
diftindlion between the one and the other. 

I may not improperly add here, though it 
fhould be thought a little out of place, that the 
" fufferings," of whatever kind, the human race 
are fubjeded to in confequenceof the lapfe, may, 
in the fame way, be made an " occafion" of fpi- 
ritual and eternal good, by parity of reafon. 
They are equally capable of being improved to 
the purpofes of *' holinefs;" and, wherein they 
are fo, they will equally turn to the " falvation" 
of thofe, who make this wife and good ufe of 
them. And, in truth, the fpecial work we are 
called to in this world of forrow and death is, to 
take occafion, from the evils wefuffer, to exhibit 
a temper of mind, and behaviour in life, that 
may be fuited to the circumftances in which God 
|ias placed us. Our trial for another flace pro- 


perly lies in the *' occafions" that are herefrom 
given us for the acquirennent and exercife of 
meeknefsj humility, faith, patience, content- 
ment, and refignation to the pleafure of vhe all- 
wife and rightecus Governor of the univcrfe. 
And if, upon being tried, ir appears that we have 
made this chriftian innprovemenc of the fufFerings 
we have been called to pafs through, we (hall, in 
the end, in fpite even of deaih itlclf, oi the mercy 
oF God, through Jefus the Saviour, be crowned 
wich eternal life. 

The woman having received her *^ judicial 
fentencc," God is now reprefented as pronouncing 
the man's -, and he does it in the following 

Ver. 17. "AnduntoAdamhefaid, Becaufethou 
haft hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and haft 
eaten of the tree of which I commanded thee, fay- 
ing, thou (halt not eat of it: curfed is the ground 
for thy fake -, in forrow (lialtthou eat of it all the 
days of thy life/' 

18. "Thorns alfo and thirties (hall it bring 
forth to thee 5 and thou (halt eat the herb of the 

19. " In the fweat of thy face (halt thou eat 
bread, till thou return to the ground : for out of 
it waft thou taken 5 for duft thou art, and unta 
duft thou (halt return." 

The firft part of this fentence contains God's 

" curfing the ground for man's fake;" that is, 

A that 


that it might be an occafion of *' toil and forrow 
to him all his days," by its being fpontaneoufly 
produdtive, not of proper food for him, but of 
" thorns and thiftles," to increafe his labour, and 
give him vexation and trouble. 

Dr. Taylor, in his fcripture dodlrine of origi- 
nal fin, calls upon us to obferve here, p. 19. 
that, " though the ferpent is " curfed," and the 
" ground is '* curfed," yet there is no " curfe'* 
" upon the *' man,'* or the " woman." He re- 
peats the fame remark again and again, in his fup- 
plementj but furely upon infuiBcient confidera- 
tion, p. 46 — 50. " Was the Lord difpleafed 
ftgainft the ground ? Was he angry againft the 
earth ?" Was the earth a capable objed of his re- 
fentmeni ? What he now did, mcfb certainly ter- 
minated on man : He was the objed in God's 
view; and if there was any *^ curfe" in the cafe, 
he was the *' perfon curfed." When it is faid to 
the people of Ifrael, if they would not be obe- 
dient, " curfed (liall be the fruit of thy land,** 
Deut. xxviii. 15. 18. would anyone be led to 
think, the land indeed was curfed, but no curfe 
was hereby intended to fall on that people ? It 
would be fhockingly abfurd to put fuch a con- 
flrudion on the words ; but not lefs fo, in the text 
before us; efpecially, as the *' man" is named, 
and it is exprefsly faid, that it was "for his fake,'* 
that is, on his account, in confideration of his 
offence, and as a teflimony of the Divine dif- 
pleafure againft it, that ^^ the earth was curfed," 



that is, made an '^ occafion" of toil and forrov; to 

him all his days. 

But fays the Dodlor, " forrow, labour, and 

death, are not inflided under the notion of a 

curfe," p. 19. And again, though thefe arc 

" confequcnces of Adam's fin, they are really a 

benefit," p. 2i, It is readily owned, in agreement 

with v/hat has been before obferved, that thofe 

«^ evils/' upon the foot of grace through Chrifl, 

the promifed feed, are capable of being improved 

fo ss to turn out in the end for good. And fo 

are all the judgments of God wherewith he vifits 

the fins of men. But do thofe teftimonies of his 

vengeance lofe their nature as "judgments" on 

his parr, and " real evils" on theirs, becaufe they 

may be an " occafion" of that repentance which 

(hall iiTue in falvation? When God threatened the 

Jewifli nation, in cafe they would not do his 

commandments, with famine, the peltilence, the 

fword, and a difperfion into all parts of the earth, 

did he threaten them with a benefit ? And when 

thofe threatnings were for their fins carried into 

execution, did he inflid a blefling on them ? When 

he threatened, in particular, that, if they were 

difobedient, " they fhould be curfed in the field," 

Deut. xxviii. 16. did he hereby intend that the 

«« field flionld be curfed," but that he meant 

thereby a " real benefit" to them ? This is what 

the Do£lor fays, not virtually and conflrudtively, 

but in dired words, in however ftrange a light it 

may make the Scripture appear. 



Befides what has been already faid, it ought to 
be remembered, God was now denouncing againft 
man that '^judgment to condemnation," which, 
in its confequences, has deeply affe(5led the whole 
' human race \ rendering their life on earth, a life 
•of toil, trouble, and forrow. And fhall this be 
thought a '* condemnation to a blefTing ?" Can 
it reafonably be looked upon in this light ? When 
God faid to Adam, " in the day thou eateft there- 
of, thou fhalt furely die j" did he mean to guard 
him againft difobedience by threatening him with 
a benefit ? And yet, this he muft have m.eanr, if 
the " judgment" that faftened on him the ap- 
pendages, forerunners, and occafions of death, 
was a condemnation to a benefit. The Scripture, 
no where fpeaks any thing like this \ but always 
confidcrs the matter under the notion of a *' con- 
demnation'* to that which was in itfelf a " real 
and great evil." And this it might be, though 
we allow, at the fame time, that it was capable, 
of the mercy of God through Chrid, of being an 
" occafion" of good in the end. 

The undoubted truth is, this '^ curie of the 
ground," in confequence of which man became 
fubjedled to a life of toil and forrow, till he fhould 
return to duft, was a ^' judicial" teftimony of 
God's difpleafure againft the fin he had commit- 
ted ; and ought therefore to be confidered as a 
«^ curfe" that terminated on '' him," and not on 
the ground, which was dead and unperceptive 
matter. This is the idea obvioufly and certainly 



conveyed to us by what Mofes has faid. It would 
be to make him fpeak in a manner never before 
heard of, to fuppofe he was telling us, that, upon 
man's fin, and God's condemning him for it, he 
was really *^ blefiing" him, by infiidting on him 
that which was greatly to his advantage. 

The '' earth*' then was" curfed" by God "for 
man's fake i" or, as a " curfe to him," by being 
fitted to be an occafion of thofe " labours and for- 
rows," which would fubjedl him to a date of fuf- 
fering all his days. 

It is an obvious deduction from hence| that 
the ** earth," by being " curfed," mufl have 
pafTed under fome confiderable change for the 
worfe. It could not become a means of " toil, 
forrow, and vanity" to man, if it had not been 
changed into a (late very different from that it was 
in before his fail -, that is, a ftate lefs fitted to 
give him pleafure, and m.ore adapted to yield him 
pain and grief. Had the original fbate of the 
earth been what it is at prefent, there would have 
been no need of a '« curfe" from God, in order to 
its *' bringing forth thorns and thiflles," that it 
might be an occafion of toil and trouble. And 
as the earth was *^ curfed" by God upon this ex- 
prefs defign, that it might be adapted to be the 
produ6live caufe of labour and grief, it muft fol- 
low from hence, that its condition before the 
lapfe was not the fame it has been fince. If it 
was, what intelligible meaning can be put upon 
the curfe ? 



It is the truth of fa(5b, that the conftitution of 
the earth is now fuch, fo fitted to be the occa- 
fional caufe of "toil and forrow'' in innumerable 
ways and kinds, that there is no fuch thing as 
living in the world, but under fuffering circum- 
ftances, in a lefs or greater degree. And was this 
the ftate of the earth when God created the firft 
of our race ? Mofes declares the contrary ; afcrib- 
ing it to their '^ fin/* and the " curfe" thereby 
brought upon the earth, that it has been fo 
changed as to be the occafion of their '* labour 
and forrow." And the Scripture, in other places, 
gives us the fame account. The apoftle Paul 
declares, that^' the creature," Rom. viii. 20. emi- 
nently the creature man, " was made fubjed to 
vanity \ not willingly, but by reafon of him who 
fubjedled him ;" that is, in confequence of the 
*^ curfe," which altered the earth fnom what ic was 
in its former ftate. So, when the apoftle John 
fays, in his defcription of the happy ftate of good 
men in the refurredlion-world, that ^' there ftiall 
be no curfe there," Rev. xxii. 3. the propriety of 
his remark is evidently grounded on thofe occa- 
fions of forrow, mankind at prefent are fubjedled 
to, by reafon of the " curfe'* that is on the earth : 
and if the *' curfe" had not made a vaft change 
in the earth for the worfe, how fhall we account 
for thofe pafTages in the facred books, which 
fpeak of the ftate of good men in the other 
world, under the emblem of a '^ paradifaic'* one? 
Our Saviour faid to the thief on the crofs, " This 
I day 


day (halt thou be with me in paradife.'* The 
apoflle Paul fays of himfelf, " I was caught up to 
paradife." And in the book of the Revelations, 
the promife ** to him that overcometh," is, " he 
fhall eat of the tree of life in the midft of the pa- 
radife of God." The happy flate defcribed in 
thefe texts, under the refemblance of" paradife," 
is much greater than can be enjoyed on this 
earth, as it is nowconftituted; and confequently, 
the "ancient paradife," from whence the allufion 
is borrowed, mufl have been greatly different 
from our earth in its prefent condition. The 
*' ancient paradife," it is true, was a particular 
fpot of the earth, feleded by God for the habita- 
tion of man in innocency; but there is no reafon 
to think, there was any effential difference be- 
tween this fpot of the earth, and the earth in com- 
mon. To be fure, if the reft of the earth, in that 
day, was fimilar to the earth in this, a " curfe" 
from God, in order to its being an occafion of 
" labour and forrow," was quite needlefs: merely 
an expulfion from " paradife" would, in this cafe, 
have anfwered all the ends of the " curfe." So 
that it Ihould feem a point beyond all reafonable 
controverfy, that this earth of our*s, by reafon of 
the " curfe" upon it for Adam*s fin, is fo changed 
from what it was before, as to be adapted to give 
rife to that" toil and trouble," which man has ever 
fince been fubjedled to. 

Mr. Whifton, in his theory of the earth, fup- 
pofes, and very probably, as I imagine, that the 



external (late of nature was quite different " be- 
fore" the fall, from what it has been " unce :" 
that the feafons were then equable, or gently 
and gradually diftinguifhed fronn each other, 
without thofe extremes of heat and cold, and fud- 
den changes- of them from one to the other we 
are now fubjecfled to, and to our great difad van- 
tage : that the earth was better adapted then to 
the purpofes of vegetation; producing manyfpe- 
cies of trees, plants, herbs, and flowers, we know- 
nothing of at prefent J advancing thofe we are flili 
acquainted with to a far more noble degree of 
perfedion ; and not invigorating the feeds which 
now grow into thorns and thiftles, or tlCc meli- 
orating their juices fo as to alter their nature from 
what it is now, and in this way rendering that 
" toil" needlefs which is occafioned by them : 
That the air was clear, pure, fubtie, tranfparent, 
and perfedtly fitted for refpiratioh, and its other 
ufes, whether in the animal or vesjetable kins- 
dom, without thofe grofs fleams, exhalations, 
and heterogeneous mixtures of various kinds, 
which are the occafion of numberlefs pernicious 
and fatal effedls, which take place, either fenfibly 
or infenfibly, in our prefent world 3 and, in a 
word, that the conflitution of things was then 
fuch, as naturally tended, conformably to fettled 
connexions, to make this earth a " paradifaic" 
one, in oppofition to that " vanity, toil, and for- 
row," ending in ^^ death,'* the «* curfe" has fince 
adapted it to be an occafion of to all its inhabit- 
I 2* 


ants, in confequence of the lapfe of the one man 

I will not affirm, that the " mechanical caufes" 
affigned by this learned theorift for the differ- 
ent ftate of things " before" and " fince" the 
fall, are thofe God was pleafed, in fa6t, to co- 
operate with, in order to their production ; but 
this I will venture to fay, that the ftate of things 
he has reprefented, as what might be owing to 
thefe " caufes,'* is both intelligible, and credible, 
upon the ftridlefl philofophical reafoning ; and 
that \ve have therefrom a jufl account, how the 
*^ curfe," the Scripture fpeaks of, might come 
upon the earth in confequence of the fin of the 
firft parents of men, and change it from its 
former ftate, making it, in the natural courfe of 
things, the occafion of that *' vanity, toil, and 
forrow/' we are now fubjedted to, and fo earn ellly 
groan to be delivered from. 

And that the " earth" has been really " thus 
changed," to whatever caufe it is attributed, 
whether the immediate power of God, or his 
power concurring with fecond caufes, is, as we 
have feen above, the plain meaning of what Mofes 
has faid in his hiftory of the fall. And the fup- 
pofition of fuch a " change" in the ftate of na- 
ture, will beft account for what we meet with, de- 
fcriptive of a former *' golden- age," in pagan 
writers, who lived in different parts of the world. 
See the teftimonies produced to this purpofe by 
Mr. Whifton, and Dr. Burnett, in their theories 



of the earth J as alfo what has been more largely 
offered upon this head by the author of Cyrus, in 
his principles of natural and revealed religion. It 
is not eafy to conceive, how the notion of a 
fornner " golden-age," fo agreeable in the main 
to the idea we are naturally led, from the Mofaic 
flory, to form of the ^^ paradifaic" ftate of the 
earth, Ihould fo generally prevail in fo many dif- 
ferent parts of the world, unlefs there had been 
fome foundation for it in the truth of fad. In 
this cafe, it might have been handed down by 
tradition from the beginning ; and the tradition, 
upon this point, would perhaps have been more 
particular and perfed:, had it not been for thofe 
" conflagrations of books" which have happen- 
ed, at one time and another, to the great regret 
of all lovers, efpecially of ancient learning. 

The other part of the " judicial fentence" pafT- 
ed upon the '* man" is, *' duft thou art, and unto 
dufl thou fhalt return." The thing meant, to 
fpeak concifely and plainly, is this, that he fhouid 
f' die," as it was " threatened" he fhouid, if hq 
was difobedient to the voice of God. 

But the important queftion is. What are we to 
underftand by this ** death .^" 

To which I would fay, there is no warrant, as 
it appears to me, from any thing Mofes has re- 
lated, to include more in its meaning, than the 
lofs of that life, with the whole enjoyment de- 
pendent on it, which he had jult reci;ived from 
God, and would not have been deprived of, had 
I 3 he 


he abflained from eating of the forbidden tree.^ 
This, as I apprehend, is the fenfe in which the 
word *' death'* is to be taken in the ** original 
threatening." This is its fenfe, as explained and 
illuftrated in the *^ fentence of condemnation." — 
And this is its fenfe alfo, when this fentence is 
fpoken of as " carried into execution.'* That we 
may the more readily take in a clear idea of what 
may be offered upon this interefling matter, let 
it be obferved. 

The body of man, though formed by the wif- 
dom of God out of the dull of the ground " into 
a curioufly organifed figure, was (till, dead, fenfe- 
lefs, inadive matter, till it pleafed God to infpire 
it with " life." So the account runs, Gen. ii. 9. 
*^ And the Lord God formed man of the duft of 
the ground, and breathed into his noftrils the 
breath of lifej and man became a living foul." 
"Whether we underftand, by God's *' breathing 
into man the breath of life," the infufion of what 
we call the '^ foul," or " fpirit,'* or whatever clfe 
can be fuppofed to be intended by it, it was this 
difplay of divine power that gave him '^ life," 
that is, conftituted him a being capable of com- 
munication with the world he had made in away 
of perception and enjoyment. It is accordingly 
added in the words that immediately follow, 
ver. 8, 9. " And the Lord God planted a garden 
callward in Eden, and there put he the man whom 
he had formed. And out of the ground made 
the Lord God to grow every tree that is pleafant 



to the fight, and good for food : the tree of life 
alfo in the midft of the garden, and the tree of 
knowledge of good and evil." The nieaning is, 
God having made man, in the manner above de- 
fcribed, a " living foul," a confcious perceptive 
creature, capable of enjoyment from the world 
he had created, took care to make fuitable pro- 
vifion therefor. Now, when it is faid, in the 
fame continued narrative, that God declared to 
Adam " he fhould furely die/' if he " eat" of a 
certain " tree in the garden," mentioned by 
name, what more naturally and obvioufly prefents 
itfelf to the mind, as the thought intended to be 
conveyed, than this, that he fhould no longer 
exift a perceptive being in the world he was placed 
in, for that he fhould have taken from him that 
" breath of life" which made him a " living 
foul." What other idea could Adam have 
formed of this threatening ? In what other fenfe 
could he poflibly have underflood it ? The 
" death" here fpoken of, is evidently the " op- 
pofite" to the " life" that had been given * j and 


* Some are pleafed to fay, as by " life" the Scripture often 
means ** a Hate of hapoinefs," and by " death,'* its oppofite, 
a ** ftate of mifery ;'* this may reafoqably he looked on as the 
fenfe in whxh the words are here uft^d bv Mole:;. As if it had 
been faid, if thou obeyeft, thou (halt be completely and eternally 
happy ; but if thou difobcyett, thou (halt be as compietely and 
eternally miferable. The anfwer is obvious, whenever the 
words, ** lite" and ** death,'* are ufed to fignify a ftate of hap- 
pinefs and mifery, they are thus ufed ia a figurative fenle. not 
I 4. according 


means a deprivation of this life. When God in- 
fpired Adam with life, he put into his body, 


according to their natural and literal meaning. And further, 
the propriety even of this figurative ufe of the words iseiTontialiy 
grounded on the previous fuppofition of " life,** literally and 
llridly fpeakiog, without which there could be no perception, 
and confcquently no fuch thing as either happicefs or mifery. 
To apply this to the cafe before us ; if Adam had been obedient, 
his life, it is acknowledged, would have been continued without 
end, and confequently his capacity for being happy ; for which 
reafon he would, as I fuppofe, have been fo for ever. But, as 
hediLbc>ed his creator, he forfeited all right to this conti- 
nuance of life, which was indeed the grant of God only upon 
condition of his obedience in the article wherein he was tried. 
How then could he have livedfor ever, without which he could 
J!ot have fuiFered mifery for ever. Was " life, continued for 
ever," fuppojtd in the *' death" with which he was threatened ? 
Tiiuo it mull have been ; otherwife, no figure, no metaphor, no 
mode of didion, could make it fignify a ftate of eternal mifery ; 
becaufc, wiihout 'Mife,*' there would have been no capacity in 
his nature for the enduring this mifery. But how could Adam 
have imagined, that, by ** dying," he (hould " live for ever," 
that he might be capable of fuffering for ever .? In what way 
Hionld he have been led into fo llrange a thought ? 

It Will be faid, he might have known, that he fhould have 
gone on perpetually living as to his ** foul," or *' fpirit," though 
his body, by being feparated from it, would have returned to 
ferifelefb dull; and if he knew, that he Ihould have perpetually 
lived as to his foul, what could bethink, or exped, but that it 
would have been a life of perpetual mifery ? The reply is, How 
Ihould A jam come by this pretei.dcd knowledge? furely, not 
from any redfoning power he was endowed with. For however 
jnd'flcluble he might have argued his foul to have been, in op- 
pcfition to any inherent principles that could naturally have 
L;o ghi on a diffolution, it was abfolutely dependent on the will 
pf God, whether it fhould continue at all a confcious living fub- 



which was made of duft, a certain power, or 
principle, call it what you will, in confequence 


fiance after its difunion from the body, or how long or In what 
way, or in what degree. And I am pretty fure, he could have 
known the will of God, in this matter, in no way but that of 
revelation. And where are we told it was revealed to him, that 
he (hould have continued to all eternity a living confcious aftive 
being ? Noihing of this nature is faid any where, thati can find, 
in the facred books ; much lefs is it any where declared, that he 
Ihould have lived, as to his ** naked foul," fufFering torment for 
ever. And, in truth, had it been the intention of God, that 
he ihould, for his one ofFence, have lived eternally in a fufl^ering 
ftate, why was he fo plainly and folemnly told, that " he ihould 
die?" What conceivable reafon could there be for the ** threaten- 
ing of death,'* upon this fuppofition ? It might rather have been 
expelled, that his " body" iliould have been made *' immortal," 
that he might have fuiFered, as an human creature, in that body 
in which he had finned. And this way of fufFering, it ihould be 
particularly remembered, is the only one that falls in with the 
•* oppofition" upon which the fufFering pleaded for is grounded. 
The happinefs engaged to Adam, upon his obedience, was hap- 
pincfsina "body animated by the breath of life;'* the mifery 
threatened ought therefore to be mifery in the ** fame body 
adluated by the fame breath of life,**and not as endured by this 
breath of life in a " naked feparated ftate.** This would bean 
imperfed *' oppofition,*' and an arbitrarily made one too. 

It mav be worthy of fpecial notice here, the proper *' wages 
of fin" to all wicked men fince the lapfe, is mifery in their 
*' bodies enlivened and aduated by the breath of life.** It is 
accordingly one of the grand revealed truths of God, that they 
Ihall all be ^' raifed from death to life," that they may be the 
capable fiibjeds of thio mifery. Chrid, the appointed judge of 
men, will not bid the wicked *' go away into the fire prepared 
for the devil and his angels,'* till he has firlt eftablifhed a rela- 
tion, connexion, union, or whatever elfe any may pleafe to call 
it, between their *' bodic?," and an *' animating principle of 



of which he became a confcious perceptive being, 
capable of afling in the body to the purpofes for 
which he was fent into the world. The con- 
tinuance of this life is the continuance of this ani-, 

life.'' And from hence it follows, that the " death" fpoken of 
in the facred books as the punifliment that (hall be inflidled on 
wicked men, as*' the wages of their fin," cannot mean the fame 
thing with that *• death" Adam was liable to upon his difobe- 
ditncci unlefs it be ridiculoufly fuppofed, that the '*refurre6lion'* 
of Adam to life after death, was included in the death with 
which he was threatened. 

Should it be flill faid, there are fome Scripture pafTages, cfpe- 
cially in the New Teftament, which fpeak of good men, on the 
one hand, as capable of enjoying happinefs in their *' fouls" after 
death ; and of wicked men, on the other, as equally capable of 
fufTering mifery; and that this was the truth of the cafe refpc6l- 
ing the firll man Adam. I would briefly anfwer, whatever 
•Mife," and capacity therefrom of enjoying good, or fufFering 
evil, there may have been after " death" fincc the lapfe, is 
wholly owing to that ** new plan of God," which is fummarily 
reprefented in the promife of *' the woman's feed to bruife the 
ferpent's head." It is upon this plan, the do61rine of a ** refur- 
redion from death to life" is grounded ; and it is, as I imagine, 
upon the fame plan, that theanimnting living principle in man, 
whatever it is, retains its confcioufnefs and adivity after death, 
if this is really the cafe, as feems to be the purport of the texts 
referred to above. And the Jatter is as eafily to be conceived of 
as the former, and may poilibly be well adapted to anfwer like 
good and valuable ends in the all-wife righteous governniert of 
God. The " fcul," whatever it is fjppofed to be, neither is, 
nor can he, ** iirmortal" any more than the body, but in fub- 
ferviency to the fovereign pleafure of God. And his pleafure, 
upon this her.d, is nowhere fignified bat in the Bible, and upon 
the fcheme of government founded in Chriil, Separate from 
this, there is, fo far as I am able to judge, no hope after death 
in refped of what we call the ** foul," any more than in regard 
of the body. 



mating perceptive principle in the body; and its 
ceafing to be any more this adlive animating prin* 
ciple in the body, gives the true and proper notion 
of death. This accordingly is the thing meant by 
the ^' death" with which Adam was threatened. It 
was, that he iliould lofe that principle which ani- 
mated his body, and made him capable of percep- 
tion and enjoyment; infomuch, that he fhould be 
the fame fenfelefs matter he was before God breath- 
ed into him the breath of life. It is not eafily con- 
ceivable howAdam could have thought of death in 
any other light : neither can we, if, difengaging 
ourfelves from all previous biafles, we keep to 
the fingle force of the word as ufed by Mofes. 

And we fliall have confirmed reafon to under- 
ftand the word *' death" in this fenfe, if we turn 
our attention to the "judicial fentence," which 
God paffed upon Adam in confequence of his 
lapfe. It runs in that ftrain. Gen. iii. 19. *^ till 
thou return to the ground ; for out of it waft thou 
taken : for duft thou art, and unto dull thou fhalt 
return." None will deny, that thefe words bear 
an evident reference to the before recited account 
of man's formation, and confcquently, when it is 
here declared. Gen. ii. 19. that '« he fhould re- 
turn to duft out of which he was taken," we are 
diredly led to conceive of his puniftiment as con- 
fifting in this, namely, " his redudlion to unor- 
ganifed unanimated duft," or, in other words, 
^' his ceafing to be that living creature" God had 
made him, and becoming as incapable of per- 


ception ^s he was before his organifed dull was 
animated with a principle of life. 

The idea we have given of this " death" is far- 
ther ftrengthened fro.n the ^' execution" of the 
original fentence upon our firfl: father. The ac- 
count we have of it is in thefe words, Gen. v, 5. 
'f all the days that Adam lived were nine hundred 
and thirty years, and he died j" that is, a period 
was put to his exigence as a perceptive being on 
the earth, and therein he fuffered the punilhment 
which the law had threatened,, and his righteous 
Judge, in confequence of his lapfe, had con- 
demned him to. The *' death" he is here faid to 
have fuffered, is plainly oppofed to the " life" he 
he had enjoyed, which was a life here on earth : 
confequently, there is no reafon to think, that any 
more is meant by this *' death" than the " priva- 
tion of that life he had, for many years, been in 
poffeOlon of." 

It may add fome weight to what has been above 
argued, if it be obferved yet further, that the 
/* deltru6lion of life here on earth" was the only 
thing the Jews, for whofe inftrudion the hiftory 
of the fall v/as more immediately wrote, could 
underftand by this word " death." For though 
it is very frequently ufed by Mofes, and as ftand- 
ing to denote a " threatened penalty," yet it 
never fignifies more than *' a period to the prefent 
life." The texts to this purpofe are very nume- 
rous. Thus, when Abimelech gave it in charge, 
iiaying, Gen. xxvi. 2, " he that toucheth this man, 



or his wife, fhall furely be put to dearh ;" the 
words, in the original, are the fame as in the 
fan6lion which guarded the law given to Adam in 
paradife. So in Exod. xxi. 12. 15, 16, 17, where 
it is ordained, that the perfons guilty of the 
crinaes there fpecified, " fliall furely die," the 
original words are ftill the fame^ as alfo in Levir. 
XX. 2. 9, ID, II, 12, 13. 15. and in other places, ai- 
med beyond number ; in all which places, the 
*^ death" threatened, is that punifhment which 
was to be inflidled by the civil magiftrate, and 
therefore can mean nothing more than *^ the iofs 
of life here on earth j" for the power of man is 
confined within thofe limits. How then Ihould 
the Jews underftand, by the original threatening, 
any more than " the deftruflion of that life which 
vvas at prefent enjoyed ?*' This is the meaning of 
the word *^ death" clfewhere in the writings of 
Mofes ; and from hence they mud have been led 
to conclude, when it was told Adam, " he fhould 
die," if he eat of the forbidden treej that the 
thing meant was, that he fhould ceafe to continue 
*^ a living creature." And more than this we have 
no warrant from Mofes, or any other of the facred 
writers, to include in the primitive threatening, 
exprefled in thefe words, ^' thou fhalt furely die." 
The plain truth is, man is a compound of 
*^ organifed matter," and an ^* animating prin- 
ciple of lifei" that is, he is conftituted of v/hat 
we call a " body," and a ^' foul :" between which 
, there is foclofc and intimate a relation, union, or 
2 con- 


connexion, that the body is a mere ufelefs m^-^ 
chine, only as it is aduated by the foul ; neither 
can the foul, confornnably to the prefcnt Jaws of 
nature, exert itfelf but by the body as its inftru- 
ment. This is our frame. Thus we are con- 
flituted living agents, beings capable of percep- 
tion in the world God has placed us in. Now 
*^ death" is the deftrudion — of what ? Not of the 
exiftence either of foul or body -, but of the " re- 
lation" there is between them, and their " fub- 
fervient fitnefs" to influence each other to the 
purpofes of life ; or, in other words, " death" is 
the deilirudlion of that " mode of exiftence" with 
which, in conformity to fettled laws, perception 
and life are conne6ted by the God of nature. 
And " this deftru6lion" is the thing meant in 
the law given to Adam, and 'tis the utmoft it can 
reafonably be explained to mean. 

The " foul," it is true, or, what I mean here- 
by, the " animating principle" in man, being, as 
I fuppofe, a fpiritual immaterial fubftance, re- 
mains " undiffolved" after its difunion from the 
body ; but it may ftill, in virtue of this difunion, 
be unfitted for thofe exertions wherein confift the 
idea, and benefit of life. Some " fpecial mode 
of exiftence" may be neceffary even for *^ fpirits," 
at leaft fuch fpirits as our's are, in order to their 
being in a ftate of " adluai" life. Perhaps the 
foul, though it is immaterial and indiflblubte, 
may be fo afiedled in its "manner of exiftence" 



by death, as to be hereby as truly difqna- 
lified as the body, though not in the fame 
way, for the proper fundions and operations o^ 
life. And had it not been for the *' promife 
through Chrili/' which took place immediatel/ 
after the lapfe, the foul would have exifted in its 
feparate flate without "actual" life, as truly as 
the body, though in a different way. Neither 
Mofes, nor any of the infpired writers, do teach 
us to think otherwife of the matter. 

Thus much, indeed, we are certainly taught, if 
not by Mofes, yet by fome of the other facred 
penmen, that both " foul" and " body," notwith- 
flanding " death," the penalty of the law put 
into execution according to its full meaning, are 
flill capable of being again related to each other, 
and of becoming the "fame percipient indivi- 
duals" they were before the inflitflion of death. 
It is upon this " capacity" that the " gofpel 
fcheme of redemption" is eflentially grounded. 
It docs not {ct afide the threatened death, in re- 
gard of any one thing included in itj but fup- 
pofes its full execution, conformably to the true 
meaning of the law, and takes place in confe- 
quence thereof. " Death,'' whatever the Scripc- 
ture means by it, whether refpecfling the foul 
or body, is actually inflifled upon every foil 
and daughter of Adam ? nor do any of them 
partake of that " reftoration" which is oppofed to 
this death, till they have really fufrcrcd it. And 



this is a ftrong confirmation of the idea we have 
given of death, the fandion of the law man was 
originally under, viz. that it means nothing more 
than the deftruflion of that " mode of exiftence/' 
with which life is connedled by the eftablilhment 
of God. In this view of the matter, it is eafy to 
conceive how thofe who fuffer death, may, by 
the wifdom and power of God, be brought back 
again to life. Nothing more is necefifary in order 
to it, but their being reftored to their formtr mode 
of exijience, or to one analogous to it ; which, 
perhaps,'is the precife idea of the Scripture-rctur- 

[ 129 ] 


Of the Pojlerity of the one man Adam^ as 
deriving exijience from him^ not in his 


IT is an undlfputed truth, among thofe who 
have faith in the Scriptures as a revelation 
from God, not only that the human race de- 
fcended from Adam as their firfl progenitor, but 
that exiftence was communicated to them in his 
i^APSED (late; in confequcnce of which they have 
all along been, now are, and in all coming gene* 
rations will be, fubje6led to a variety of evils, 
grievous in their nature, and abfolutely unavoid- 
able, by the all-wife, righteous, and holy appoint- 
ment of God. 

What thefe are, we can learn from the Sacred 
Books only; to which, therefore, v/e mu ft repair, 
if we would know, with any degree of certainty, 
wherein, and in what fenfe, we are fufferers by 
means of the offence of the one man, our com- 
mon father. 

The apoflle Paul is, of all the facred writers, 

the moft explicit, and particular, in fpeaking of 

K the 


the ORIGINAL LAPSE, and of its confequences as 
extending to the whole human kind. No one can 
read his Epiftles, and not at once perceive, that, 
in his view, the gofpel fcheme of mercy (lands in 
clofe connexion with the unhappy ftate mankind 
univerfally are brought into, by means of the lapfe 
of our firft progenitor. No intelligible meaning 
can be put upon the following paflages in his 
Epiftle to the Corinthians and the Romans, upon 
any other fuppofition : '^ Since by man came 
death, by man alfo came the refurredion from 
the dead. For as in Adam all die, even fo in 
Chrifl: fhall all be made alive. By one man, fin 
entered into the world, and death by fin ; and 
fo death hath pafied upon all men, for that all 
men have Gnned. As by the offence of one, judg- 
ment came upon all men to condemnation ; even 
fo, by the righteoufnefs of one, the free gift 
came upon all men to the juftification of life." 

The cornmentators, and other writers, I have 
had opportunity to confult, have evidently taken 
cither too much, or too little, into his meaning, 
in what he has faid with reference to our partici- 
pation in Adam's lapfe -, and by this means, they 
have all, in their turns, as it appears to me, 
made him fpeak, either abfurdly, or, at beft, lefs 
clearly and pertinently, than they might otherwife 
have done. 

Thofe who interpret him, when he fays, that^ 
^' by the difobedience of one," the one man 
Adam^ " niany were made finners," as defigning 



to fugged:, that his fault was made theirs, or 
that they really sinned when he eat of the for- 
bidden tree, do, without all doijbt, apply a fenfe 
to his words that is grofsly abfurd; may I not fay, 
impoffible to be true ? For fin, which is a moral 
irregularity, (lands in necelTary connexion with 
the agent who commits it, and mull therefore, 
in the nature of things, be personal. One man 
may be a sufferer, in confequence of the fin of 
another i but one man cannot be guilty of ano- 
ther man's fin. Sin, as it eflentially fuppofes 
moral agsncyy is, at all times, and in all worlds, 
confined to the agent that omits fome action he 
Ihould have done, or does one he fliould not have 
done; and cannot be transferred, any more than 
moral agency itfelf. There can be no reafonable 
room, one would think, for difpute upon this 
head, where common fenfe is allowed its proper 
exercife. Nay, even in the cafe of a legal re- 
presentative, who a(5ls in the behalf of others, 
the adl of the reprefentative, morally confidered, 
is personal. The confequences of it only, whe- 
ther good or bad, extend to thofe he reprefents. 
So that, fliould it be even allowed, that Adam 
was the constituted representative of his 
pofterity, it would not follow herefrom, that they 
vitrt guilty of his fin j but only that they might 
be fufferers in confequence of it. 

Thofe alfo who reprefent the apofile Paul to 

have taught, that mankind come into exiftencc 

morally corrupt creatures, as having derived 

K 2 from 


from their firft father a pofitively sinful nature, 
are equally miflaken in the fenfe they put upon 
his words. For Adam was no more than the me- 
dium, or inftrument, by or through whom God 
communicated to men the nature they have, fimply 
as it comes from him ; for which reafon, it (hould 
feem an impoflibility, that it ihould be sinful; 
becaufe it is precifely, as derived to them, that 
nature^ which God, through Adam, conveyed to 
them, without the intervention of any agency of 
their own. ' 

It is true, they may come into being with ani- 
mal tendencies, which may prove the occafion of 
their finning themfelves ; yea, they may have thefe 
tendencies in fuch a degree, as that the danger 
may be great, exceeding great, left they fhould 
hereby be enticed, and drawn afide; nay, further, 
thefe animal tendencies may be converted into 
SINFUL PRINCIPLES of afbion, as indeed, God 
knows, they too often are in fad. But as they 
cxift in our confticution, upon our firft entrance 
into the world, it cannot be thought they fliould 
be MORALLY corrupt, bccaufc they are fuch, 
and only fuch, as the great Creator was pleafed 
to give us, previous to any agency of our own. 

On the other hand, thofe who fpeak of man- 
kind as fubjecfled indeed to mortality y by means of 
Adam's lapfe, but ftill deriving from him the like 
perfe^ion of nature which he had v/hile innocent, 
alike fitting them for a life of conformity to the law 
of God i I fay, thofe who exhibit fuch an account of 


the conflitution of human nature fince the lapfe, 
do as evidently put a wrong fenfe on the apoftlc 
Paul's writings; lofing fight of that grace which 
he defigns to exalt, at leafl, in one of its eminent 
branches, and putting it out of their power to give 
that force to his reafoning, in many places, which 
it jullly carries with it. 

Two things, with refpedl to the (late of man- 
kind, fince the lapfe of the one man Adam, and 
in confequence of it, appear very obvious to an 
attentive unprejudiced mind, upon reading the 
New Teftament books, efpecially the Epiftles of 
St. Paul. One relates to their fubjedion univer- 
fally to a life of vanity and forrowy ending in death. 
The others, to fuch imperfection of nature as 
renders it impofllble, upon the foot of mere law, 
that they Ihould attain to a righteoufnefs that 
could avail to their juftification before God. The 
eight firft chapters of the Epiflle to the Romans 
are efl!entially grounded on this reprefentation of 
the ftate of Adam's pofterity fince the lapfe. The 
thread of reafoning is not only perplexed, but its 
ftrength deftroyed, upon any other fuppofition ; 
it being the main defign of the Apoftle to fhew, 
that the grace of God, through Jefus Chrift, is as 
truly intended for the help of our nature brought 
into a difadvantageous (late in confequence of the 
lapfe, as to affed: our deliverance from the vanity 
and mortality to which we have been fubjedled. 
And it is this thought, and this only, that will 
give connet^ion to his difcourfe, and force to the 
K 3 arguments 


arguments he has largely infifted on ; as we may 
afterwards have occafion to make abundantly evi- 

Iq order therefore to our entertaining ajuft idea 
of the true (late of mankind fince the lapfe, we 
Ihall be diftind in confidering both the mortalityy 
and imperfe^ion of nature, to which we are uni- 
verfally fubjedcd: endeavouring, at the fame 
time, to give fuch an account of each as may fit 
eafy on the mind, and filence the objedlions that 
would reprefent either of them as unreafonablc 
and abfurd, difhonorary to God, or unjuft to 

Only before I proceed, I would interpofe an 
important thought, which it would be highly ex- 
pedient we (hould heedfully attend to, through 
the whole of what- may follow. It is this: the 
MOMENT Adam eat of the forbidden tree, he be- 
came liable to the threatened death, and had it 
not been for thedifplay of^r^^^, he would imme- 
diately have been deprived of life 3 in which 
cafe he could not have had poflerity. And can it 
be imagined, thd,t grace would have fufpended the 
operation of the threatening, and continued him 
in life fo as to have poflerity, unlefs it had been 
the intention of God, that they fhould be dealt 
with, as he himfelf was, in a way, not of rigorous 
judice, but of gracious mercy. It ought not to 
be fuppofed ; nor will the fuppofition at all confifl 
with the exprefs declarations of Scripture upon 
the point. It is obfervable, the fentence of con- 


demnation occafioned by the lapfe, is fpoken of 
as POSTERIOR to the promife of a Saviour, God 
firft declared, that «f the feed of the woman fhould 
bruife the ferpcnt's head ;** and after this pro- 
nounced the fentence, *' duft thou arr, and unto 
duft thou fhalt return.'* This promife, without 
all doubt, was intended as a remedy againft the 
difadvantages which Adam had brought upon 
himfelf, and confequently upon his pofterity, by 
means of his *'one offence;" and, in virtue ofit> 
they were all placed under a difpenfation of graces 
that isj put into fuch a ftate, as that, through ^* the 
feed of the woman," it became pofTible for them 
to be as happy as Adam would have been, had he 
continued in innocencys which could not have 
been the cafe, but by a new eftablifhment upon 
the foot of grace. The apoftle Paul certainly 
viewed the matter in this light. Hence, in the 
8th chapter of his Epiftle to the Romans, ver. 20. 
he declares, that ** the creature [by which phrafe 
he mod certainly includes mankind] was made 
fubjedt to vanity [ett iXTn^i] in hope." Of what ? 
It follows in the next verfe, " that [fo the particle 
6T» Ihould have been rendered here, as it is in 
hundreds of places elfewhere] the creature itfelf; 
alfo [>£at auTu v\ xTio-K, the felf-fame creature that 
had been fubjedled to vanity] fhall be delivered 
from the bondage of corruption into the glorious 
liberty of the children of God; which could not 
be, it would have been impofllble, but upon a 
Btw plan of grace. He very obvioufly leads us 
K 4 into 


into the fame way of thinking upon the matter^ 
in his 5th chapter, i8th verfe, where he fays, " as 
by the offence of one, judgment canne upon all 
men to condemnation ^ even fo, by the righteouf- 
nefs of one, the free gift came upon all men to 
the juftification of life.'* And again, ver, 19. 
^' as by one man's difobedience, many were made 
finners; fo by the obedience of one, many fhall 
be made righteous." Thefe texts, in their proper 
place, will be largely confidered and explained. 
It may, at prefent, without faying any thing upon 
them> be left with thofe, to afTign any intelligible 
meaning to them, who fuppofe, that the pofterity 
of Adam will be dealt with in a way of rigorous 
juflice, and not upon the gofpel-fcheme of grace. 
The plain truth is, the whole human race, in 
confequence of a divine conftitution, occafioned 
by the obedience of the one man Jefus Chrift, 
are as certainly under the advantage of a deliver- 
ance from death, as they were fubjefled to it in 
confequence of a counter-conftitution, occafioned 
by the offence of the one man Adam. Deliverance 
from the power of the grave, is absolutely and 
UNCONDITIONALLY the grant ofgtace to mankind 
without diftinftion, or exception. It is no more 
conne6led with their own agency, than was the 
doom to fuffer death i but, be their nation, condi- 
tion, ormoralcharadler what itmay, they Ihall as 
furely " come forth from their graves,'* as they 
went down into them. There can be no room 
for difpute here, if it is a revealed truth, that 



there fhall be a universal refurredlion from the 
dead. And let it be added here, the Scripture 
is as exprefs and perennptory in affirming, that it 
is " in Chrift that all are made alive, as that it is 
in Adam all die." It muft therefore be afcribed 
to grace, difperfed through the one man Jefus 
Chrift, that the human kind will be delivered from 
death : It would otherwife have everlaftingly 
reigned over them. For, being once dead, they 
muft have been for ever dead, if grace had not 
interpofed to reftore them to life. 

And as the pofterity of Adam came into being 
under an abfolute declaration from the omnipotent 
God, that they fhall be raifed from death to life^ 
fo it is made certain to them, that this life, upon 
a new eftablifhment of heaven, may be a glo- 
rioufly happy one. We are accordingly alfured, 
by the infpired Paul, the advantage by Chrift has 
exceeded, reached beyond, the damage by Adara, 
particularly in this refpecl, that whereas " the 
judgment was by one offence to condemnation, the 
free gift is oi many offences unto juftification j" the 
undoubted meaning of which, at leaft in part, is, 
that mankind may, in confequence of the advan- 
tage they are placed under by means of Chrift, ob- 
tain the gift of pardoning mercy, notwithftanding 
their perfonal fins, however many they may have 
been. And that they might be prepared, not 
only for the beftowment of this gift, but the en- 
joyment of an eternal reign in happy life after 
death, provifion has been made, through the pro- 
mi fed 


mifed " feed of the woman," for the deftrudllon 
of the prevalence of fin in them, and the im- 
plantation of that " incorruptible feed,'' which 
jQiall fpring up in all thofe fruits of rightcoufnefs 
which are to the praife of the glory of God. This 
was the great thing defigned in the original pro- 
mifc, putting the race of men univerfally under 
a new flate of trial for an eternal happy life after 
deaths and this alfo was the aim of God in the va- 
rious difpenfations, at various times, he faw fit to 
put any of the fons of men under. And this^ in fpe- 
cial, was the grand view of God in the difpenfation 
eredled fince the coming of Chrifl, and commonly 
called, by way of eminence, the Gofpel-difpenfa-^ 
tion. In this adminiflration of the law of grace, 
with Jefus Chrifl at its head, we are alTured, that 
** God is not willing that any Ihould perifh, but 
that all fhould come to repentance j" that " who- 
foever will, may come, and partake freely of the 
water of life j'* and that if any do not '* come to 
Chrifl: that they may have life," a life of com- 
plete happinefs in heaven, it is becaufe they 
'* will not:" for which reafon the fault will be 
their own, and not chargeable on Adam, or any 
elfe, if they mifs of falvation, and fuffer the 
fecond death. But I may not enlarge any farther 
here. To return : 

I. The firfl: thing propofed to be confidered 
was, the fubjedlioa of mankind univerfally to 
DEATH, through the lapfe of our firfl: father, 



Adam. There is no room for difpute as to the 
fa(5l itfelf, the fubjedion of the whole human race 
to the flroke of death : nor will it be difputed by 
thofe who pay regard to the books of facred 
Scripture, that this fubjedion to death is owing 
to a divine conftitution, occafioned by the lapfe 
of the one man Adam. This is an efientiat 
article in the apoftle Paul's argument, in Rom. v. 
from the 12th to the 20lh verfe; and again in 
chap. viii. from the 23d to the 29th vcrfe. And 
yet again in his firft Epiftle to the Corinthians, 
chap. XV. the 26th and 27th verfes. 

But what are we to underfland by this death ? 
and how do Adam*s fofterity^ through his lapfe, 
become univerfally fubje(5led to it ? Thefe are the 
only proper queftions here, and they are too 
important not to be particularly and diftin(fl]y 

In anfwer to the firfl of thefe queflions, fome 
have faid, that the evil meant by the death to 
which Adam was doomed, and which confe- 
quentially comes upon his pofterity, is not only 
the redudion of that admirably contrived ma- 
chine, the body, to its primitive duft, but the 
entire de(lru6lion of its animating principle, 
called, by Mofes, '^ the breath of life." This 
was the fentiment of the great Mr. Locke; and it 
has been adopted by many others, in their wri- 
tings upon this fubjed. But the Scripture, as it 
appears to me, contains nothing in it that gives 



countenance to fuch an idea of the originall]^ 
threatened death. Far from this, one of the 
eflential ftrokes in the fcheme of redemption ic 
reveals, fcems wholly irreconcilable herewith. 
What I mean is, that the produdlion of beingsy 
after annihilation, is a quite different thing from 
that RESURRECTION which is the grand ob}e6t of 
the " hope fet before us" in the *' gofpel of the 
blefled God.** For, as an excellent writer rea- 
fons, when a being has once ceafed to exift, ic 
can never exift more the same individual think- 
ing being. A new one may be produced exadly 
like the former j but it will not be the same with 
that which had an end put to its exiftence. After 
there hath been a gap, a feparating fpace, nothing 
can polTibly unite the being exilling before, and 
that which exifls after, into one. And this alone, 
to thofe who believe a refurredlion, may be in- 
ftead of a thoufand arguments to prove, that the 
animating principle in man does not, by deaths 
totally ceafe to be. For in this cafe, inftead 
of a resurrection, there would be the pro- 
dudtion of a new confcious principle, which 
would conftitutc a different individual agent, 
having no intereft in the good or bad condudl of 
that which exified before -, though, perhaps, it 
might refemble it as nearly as one being can 
another. It is true, that mode of exiftence is 
dedroyed by death, which would have put a 
period to all pofTibility of perception, or.exertion 



in any fhape for ever, had it not been for the in- 
terpofition of grace, through Cnrift. This has 
laid a new foundation for perception and enjoy- 
ment after death, if not before, in confequence 
of a RESURRECTION; by which the Scripture 
means the putting together again the bodily ma- 
chine, and animating it with that confcious prin- 
ciple, which had not been turned out of exiftf- 
ence, but remained in fuch a ftate as to be 
capable of conftituting the same individual per- 
fon it was before the coming on of death. 

Others are pleafed to affirm, and with great 
pofitivenefs, that the torments of hell-fire 
FOR EVER are included in the death threatened 
againft Adam's '^ one offence," and that all his 
pofterity, on account of this one adl of difobe- 
dience, are expofed to, and may judly have in- 
flicted upon them, thefe torments. But it is, in 
true reafon, an incredible thing, that the children 
of the firft man, throughout all generations, 
fliould, becaufe he committed an a6l of fin, be 
fubjeded to never-ceasing misery. Can ic 
be fuppofed, in confiilency with that comimon 
faculty by which mankind are enabled to diftin- 
guifh between truth and falfehood, right and 
wrong, that the infinitely jult and good God 
fhould fend millions that die before they come to 
a capacity of moral agency, as is the cafe of 
all infants, the moment they leave this world, to 
the place of <« weeping, and wailing, and gnafh- 
ing qf teeth for ever," and for no other fault 



than that their firll father, thoufands of years 
before they had exiftence, " eat of a tree," con- 
cerning which God had faid, " thou (halt not eat 
of it?" The thought only of fuch a procedure 
in God, is fhocking to the human n:iind ! Ir con- 
tradidls all the natural notions we have both of 
iuftice and benevolence. It is indeed a mod 
injurious refleftion on the " Father of Mercies/' 
xinfit to be believed, and impoflible to be true. 
Nor is there any thing in the writings, either of 
the apoftle Paul, or of the other penmen of the 
facred bookS;, that lead to fuch a flrange thought ; 
though they have all faid enough to convince all 
that need to be convinced, that it is no where 
contained in the Bible. 

It is eminently worthy of our remark here, 
that the apoftle Paul, in the 5th chapter of his 
Epiftle to the Romans, the 12th verfe, exprefsly 
allures us, that that death, be it v/hat it may, 
which entered into the world through the lapfe 
of the one man Adam, has passed upon all 
MEN. What he means is, not merely, or only, 
that all men are liable to this death, but that it 
really, and in fa6l, comes upon them. That 
which certainly fhall be, he here fpeaks of, as 
though it a6tually had been. If now, eternal 
MISERY, in a future ftate, is one thing included 
in the death with which the original law was 
guarded, this misery muft, in events and fact, 
be fuffercd by all Adam's pofterity, as well as 
himfelfi for the death, with which his lapfe 



was threatened, if we may believe the apoftlc 
jPaul, HATH PASSED UPON ALL MEN; that is, they 
all, in EVENT and fact, do really fuffer it. But ic 
would diredly contradidl the whole Scripture- 
account of REDEMPTION to fay, that all men are> 
or fhall be, eternally miferable in the other 
world. The exa(ft truth is, the redemption by 
Jefus Chrift does not fuperfede the execution of 
the original threatening, but is grafted on it, and 
takes rife from it. The pofterity of Adam all 
PIE in confequence of his lapfe, according to the 
true meaning of the death threatened : but if thisr 
death included in it eternal misery, it wouli 
be impofTible they Ihould both fufFer it, and be 
redeemed from it. 

It is further obfervable, " the fire prepared 
for the devil and his angels," or, what means 
the fame thing, the punifhment the wicked fhall 
FINALLY fuffer, is never fpoken of, in the Bible, 
as inflicled upon any, till mankind universally 
have been delivered from that death which has 
paflTed upon them, in confequence of the one 
lapfe of the one man Adam. Hence we always read 
of the FINAL misery as posterior to the general 
judgment, which will not commence till after 
the GENERAL RESURRECTION. Now, if nonc of 
the fons or daughters of Adam will be con- 
demned to FINAL MISERY, till after they have 
been delivered from the death which comes 
upon them in confequence of his lapfe, it is im- 
poflible THIS misery fhould be included in this 
4 P£AT« ; 


DEATH : efpecially if it be confidered, that this 
mifery will not be inflided upon men indiscri- 
minately, and UNIVERSALLY, as is the cafe 
v/ith refpe6h to the death that connes through 
Adam's lapfe. This '* paffes upon all," without 
diflinc5lion, or difcrimination : whereas, - final 
mifery will be fuffered by thofe only who have 
PERSONALLY finned. It is accordingly obferv- 
ablc, in all the accounts v/e have of the procefs 
of the general judgment, mankind are con- 
demned y^/>^r(^/(?/y and /W/i;2i?/^//y 5 and this, not 
for the lapfe hy Mam, but for their own perfonal 
fins. It will then be " rendered to men ac- 
cording to the deeds done in the body;" and 
their condemnation will be lighter, or heavier, 
in proportion to the number, and aggravating 
circumftances, of the fins they have committed 
in their own perfons. 

Having thus faid what is not the meaning of 
the DEATH we are all fubjecSleJ to, through the 
lapfe of the one man Adam, it will be more 
eafy to afcertain its true and proper fenfe. We 
cannot indeed well miflake its juft and full im- 
port, if, indead of giving fcope to imagination, 
we clofely confine ourfelves to what the Bible 
fays upon the matter. For it is at once obvious, 
that the term, death, when ufed with reference 
to the pofterlty of Adam, confidered fimply as 
fuch, cannot contain more in its meaning, than 
is included in it v\^hen ufed with reference to 
Adam himfelf. Now, the word, peath, as has 



been already proved at large, not only In the 
threatening denounced againft Adam in cafe of 
difobedience, but in the judicial fentence after 
his lapfe, means the deftruflion of that mode of 
exijience upon which iife was dependent j or, in 
other words, the capacity for perception and 

Only it fhould be particularly remembered 
here, the holy God> inftead of turning Adam 
INSTANTLY out of life, as he had a right to do, 
in virtue of the threatening, upon l^is one a^fl of 
difobedicnce, he only turned him out of paradlfe^ 
fubjedling him, in the room of that happy life he 
might have enjoyed, had he not finned, to a life 
of toil, labour, and forrow, that would gradually^ 
but certainly, terminate in death. The fentence 
of condemnation, recorded Gen. iii* 17, 18, 19, 
is clearly and fully exprefTive of this. The words 
run thus: *' And unto Adam he faid, becaufe 
thou haft eaten of the tree of which I command- 
ed thee, faying, thou Ihalt not eat of it j curfed 
is the ground for thy fake. In forrow (halt thou 
eat of it all the days of thy life. Thorns alfo 
and thirties fhall it bring forth to thec; and thou 
(halt eat of the herb of the field. In the fweat of 
thy face fhalt thou eat bread, till thou return to 
the ground j for out of it waft thou taken : for 
duft thou art, and unto duft flialc thou return." 
It is abundantly evident, from this condemnatory 
fentence of God, not only that it was for Adam*s 
fm that the earth was curfed i but that it was 

L curfed 


curfed (as has been largely illuftrated) upon thrs 
fpeciai defign, namely, that he nnight thereby be 
fubjefled to a life of labour and forrow, till he 
-fliould return to his original dud. 

This now leads us into a clear and jufl idea of 
the real circumflances of his pofterity in confe- 
quence of his lapfe. We come into exiftence, 
*and live on this earth, not as it was in its priftine 
(late, but as it now lies under the curfe of God •, 
that is, adapted to render life, as long as it 
lafts, a fcene of labour, vanity, and forrow. It 
is both feen and felt, by unhappy experience, that 
the world we inhabit is fucb, in its prefent (late, 
as that it is impoflible for any fon or daughter of 
Adam to poflefs life in it, but in fufferix^g cir- 
cumllances in a lefs or greater degree. As the 
Scripture fpeaks, " man that is born of a woman 
is of fev/ days, and full of trouble." And again, 
" he is born to trouble as the fparks fly up- 
wards." And fuch, in truth, are the inconve- 
niencies and trials, fuch the labours and forrows 
we are all fubjedled to, by the very conftitution 
of the earth we live upon, fo various in their 
kind and unavoidable in their nature, that the 
prefent (late of exiftence may be confidered as a 
fcene of vanityy fufferingy and death \ and the 
longer we, any of us, continue in it, the more 
thoroughly we are convinced, that this is a real re- 
prefentation of the cafe. Some, perhaps, fufFer 
more evil than they enjoy good ; and if any en- 
joy more good than they fufFer evil, it is but in a 



fmall degree. The fame earth that is fitted to 
give us pleafure, is fitted alfo to give us pain; 
and every convenience is fo attended with fonne 
oppofne inconvenience, that it is hard to fay, ia 
many cafes, on which fide the balance turns. 
At the beft, our condition here is fo chequered 
with interchangeable good and evil, that we may 
all take to ourfelves words, and fay, with ac- 
curate truth, " vanity of vanities, all is vanity, 
and vexation of fpirit." 

This was not the ftate in which God created 
the ftrji of our race. The Scripture, inftead of 
fuggefting that it was, is particular and exprefs 
in declaring, that it was owing to the difobedi- 
cnce of the one man Adam^ in the fpecial article 
wherein he was tried, and the curse of God 
thereby brought on the earth, that death entered 
into the worlds with its forerunners and ap- 
pendages, in all their tormenting forms, and has 
reigned ever fince, and even over thofe, who 
never " finned after the fimilitude of his tranf- 
grefTioni*' which naturally leads to the other 
propofed queftion, 

How, or in what fenfe, does the lapfe of 
Adam fubjedl his pofterity to thefe difadvan- 
tages, fignified [by death \ The anfwcr whereto 
is plainly this: 

Adam, having ** cat of the forbidden tree,'* 

was, by the judicial fentence of God, doomed to 

a life q{ vanity andforrow^ ending in deatbi which 

judicial fentence consequentially extends to, 

L % and 


and affeds, all his pofterity throughout all gene- 
rations. The apoflle Paul is particularly exprefs 
upon this point. Hence thofe words of his, 
Rom. viii. 20. '^ the creature was made fubje6t 
to vanity, not willingly, but by reafon of him 
who fubjeded the fame." — It is diredlly affirmed, 
in this text, that " the creature," by which word 
muft be meant, at lead in part, the creature 
MAN *, was " fubjefled to vanity ; and not only 
fo, but that it was brought into this fubjedlion 
by the will, or constitution, of God. For 
this is evidently the import of the words, 
[^ia TQv vnorcc'^oLvroJ] " by him who fubjeded the 
fame." Dr. Doddridge indeed fuppofes Adam 
to have been the him^ by whom mankind became 
*• fubie6led to vanity.'* Mr. Locke fay's, it was 
the devil. But neither of thefe writers, however 
high an opinion we may have of them, appear to 
have hit upon the true fubftantive here under- 
ftood. It is readily owned, both the devil and 
Adam had a hand in introducing this fubjec- 
tion: Adam, by his one a6t of difobedience; 

♦ If the words in this pafTage of Scripture, ij xtjctk, and 
wacra *T.<n?, a'C extended in their meaning, as fonie are 
pleafed to extend them, fo as to take in the inanimate part of 
the creation, the rational or moral part ought not to be left 
out; as the judicial fentence, *' fubjcding the creature to va- 
nity," particularly afFefted the rational part of the creation, or 
mankind. And it refpeaed the creation, as to its inanimate parr, 
no otherwife than as a mean to carry the judicial fentence, as it 
would affea mankind, the more fully into execution. The 
ratiofUil creature ought therefore to be more efpecially confidercd 
ai the creature here fpoktn of as ** fubjeaed to vanity." 

6 and 


and the devil, by tempting him to it. But 
though the devil's temptation was the occafion of 
Adam's difobedience, and Adam's difobediencc 
was v/hat gave occafion to this fubjecftion ; yet 
the will of Gody publifhed in the judicial fen- 
tence, taking rife from this difobedience, was 
that, and that only, which fafiened it on man- 
kind. This will, or conftiturion, of God, there- 
fore, taking rife from Adam's lapfe, mull: be the 
thing intended by the apodle. Nor will there 
be any room for doubt upon the matter, if we 
compare what he here fays, with his more clear 
and pofitive declarations upon the fame point 
in the 5th chapter. His words are, ver. 16. 
" the judgment was by one to condemnation." 
And again, ver. 18. '* by the offence of one, 
judgment came upon all men to condemnation." 
The meaning of which texts is, that mankind 
univerfaliy are fubje(fted to mortality, with the 
appendages and attendants on it, by the judicial 
fentence of God, occafioned by the '^ one of- 
fence" of the " one man" Adam, their common 
father. No fenfe that does not include this, can 
be put upon thefe Scripture-pafTages. This I 
efteem a point beyond ail reafonable difpute. 

Another qucftion therefore arifes here, namely, 
how comes it to pafs, that the pofterity of Adam 
are included in the judicial fentence of God, 
which, by reafon of his lapfe, condemned hiix) 
to a (late of fuffering and death ? 

L i This 


This queftion has often been refolved by fay- 
ing, that, in virtue of a conflituted relation be- 
tween Adam and his poderity, they sinned when 
he comnnitted the *^ one ad" of difobedience, 
and that, for this reafon they were involved, in 
common with him, in all the evils confequent 
upon the firft tranfgreffion. But this, without the 
lead hefitation, may be pronounced the invention 
of man, and not a truth contained in the word of 
God* There is no hint given in the Mofaic 
hiftory of the fall, of Adam's being fo conftituted 
the head of his pofterity, as that they sinned 
when he eat of the forbidden tree. The whole 
Old Teftament is filent alfo upon this matter^ 
and a fevy phrafes only in the New Teilamenc 
are repaired to, ^s containing this fentiment. 
The principal ones are to be met with in the 5th 
chapter of Paul's epiftle to the Romans, in the 
i2th verfe, where it is faid, ^' de^th hath pafTed 
upon all men, for that all have finned j" and in 
the J 9th verfe, in which his words are, f by one 
man's difobedience many were made finners." 
But it is one of the grpfleft miftakes to fuppofe, 
that the apoftle intended to convey this idea, that 
Adam's poUcrky /imed when he finned, and th^t, 
for this reafon, they are fubjeded to death. Such 
a condrudion of his words appears, at firft fight, 
to a mind not previoufly blinded with prejudice, 
to be as truly abfurd as to fay, that the facramen- 
tal bread and \yine, by the prieft's confccration of 
jbfmj are converted into the real body and blood 


of Chrlft i or that God, who is a pure fpirit, has 
eyes and ears, hands and feet. The Tin of one 
man cannot be the fin of another, unlefs he has 
been in fome way or other accefTary to it. The 
thought involves in it a palpable inconfiftency 
with the nature of things. Moral irregularity and 
moral agency y are infeparably connedlcd with each 
other. Were the pofterity of Adam, thoufands of 
years before they had a being, moral agents ? 
Could they, while as yet in poflible exiftence only, 
have been, in any fhape or view, accomplices ia 
the ^m of their firft progenitor ? Are they not as 
diftindl beings from him as they are from one 
another ? And can one being be a finner, becaufe 
another that is diftinft and different from him is 
fo : A greater moral contradidion can fcarce be 
conceived of. Bcfides, nothing is more abfurd 
than to fuppofe, thofe fhould be chargeable with 
fin, wherein they never were, or could be, con- 
fcious of the leaft guilt. Were any of the fpns or 
daughters of Adam ever confcious of its being a 
fault of theirs, that their firfl: father eat of the 
forbidden tree ? They may have been affected 
with grief, while they have employed their 
thoughts on this fin of his : but did they ever 
blame themfelves for it I Did God's vicegerent 
in their breads ever accufe and upbraid them for 
THEIR difobedience, in the one ad of Adam's dif- 
obedience ? I dare be bold to fay, this was never 
the cafe, with refped to any one of the firft man's 
defcendants, unlefs through the influence of a 
L 4 deceived 


deceived imagination. We are indeed fo made, 
by the God of nature, that we cannot be con- 
fcious of any fault, unlefs we have personally 
done that which is wrong. And this is an invin- 
cible proof, that God doth not look upon Adam's 
pofterity as hs-ving^medy when he committed the 
one oftence, which has brought death into the 
world. Surely, he will not account vn^nftnners for 
that, in relation to which they cannot charge 
thcmreives with being finners^, and it is impoffible 
they fliould^ while they pay regard to their proper 
make, as intelligent and moral agents. 1 fhall 
further fay here, fuch an interpretation of the 
"^ ^poftle's words as has been oppofcd would make 
him fpeak inconfidently with himfelf. For, in 
the 8th chapter of this epiftle, where he is upon 
the fame fubjed, he diredlly affirms, that ** the 
creaLure," the rational creature, man, *^ was made 
fubjedt to vanity, not willingly," ou;/ fKouo-aj, not 
by any wilful adl of its own*: nay, in the very- 
paragraph jtfelf in which thefe phrafes are found, 

* S.iys a critical expofitor in loc and, as I judge, vfith great 
pertinency and iruth, izovaa feems here to have the fame figni- 
fiCation as £xo;;c-ii^r, nvil/u'lly, Heb. x. 2':> ; or as ^s>.ovtac, 2 Pet 
'iif. 5. '* this they are wilfully ignorant of. What we render, 
*' lie not in wait," (Exod. xxi. 13. J the Seventy render, 
iv'/^iKuv, *' not wilfully, in oppofition to *' prefumptuouHy,*' 
i<i the next verfe. '7'hus'jax denotes a criminal choice, and 
in an high hnnd too; [carefully obferve, how Excfcriw? flands, 
\\i:h. X. 26,] nam<rly, a iranfgrf ffion fubjeding to wrath. *' The 
creature w.?s made fubjeft to vanity," not by its own criminal 
choice^ not by *f finning after the fimilitude of Adam's iranf- 
frrefiion," Rom, y. 14. 



the apoflle would grofsly contradid himfclf, and 
counteradl his own reafoning, if he meant, that 
we had '^ finned by Adam's finning ,*' and that 
it was for this reafon, upon this account, that we 
were brought under fubje<5lion toforrow and death. 
For he has very clearly and ftrongly declared, 
over and over again, that we were fubjedled to 
death, not for any fin of our ov/n, but through 
the fentence of God, occafioned by the lapfe, fin, 
or offence of our common progenitor, " the one 
man Adam." Hence thofe decifive aflirmations, 
'^ through the offence of one, the many [o* ttoAAo*] 
are dead/' ver, 15; " the judgment was by one 
to condemnation," ver. 16 -, " death reigned by 
ONE," ver. 17 J " by the offence of one, judgment 
came upon all men to condemnation," ver. i"3. 
The true meaning of which text is obviouOy and 
certainly this, that mankind were fubjedled to a 
fuffering mortal ftate, not for any fin they had 
THEMSELVES Committed j but solely through the 
confliitution of God, occafioned by the lapfe, of- 
fence, or difobedience, of" the one man Adam." 
This matter is made, if pofllble, yet more indu- 
bitable in the parallel the apofl:le has run, in verfes 
15, 16, and 17, between "Adam," and " Chrifi:,'* 
in which he confiders " the offence of Adam," 
on the one hand, as the true fource, through the 
confl:itution of God, of that ^^ death which pafles 
upon all menj" and the ^* obedience of Chrift," 
on the other hand, as the proper ground, through 
^ like divine conftitution, of" the gift unto jufti- 



fication of life." So that " the offence of Adam/' 
and not any fm of ours, is as truly the occafion of 
our fubjeition to death, as the " obedience of 
Chrift/* and not '^ our own perfonal obedience/* 
IS the reafon or ground of our being adnnitted to 
the benefit of juftification. Accordingly, when 
the apoftle fays, that " death hath paffed upon 
all men, for that all have finned i" and that, '* by 
the difobedience of one, many are made fin- 
ners : I fay, when the apoftle declares thus, he 
ought nor, mod certainly, to be underftood in a 
ienfe that will make us sinners by Adam's fin- 
ning, and ground our fubjed:ion to death on our 
OWN SIN inflead of his •, for this would introduce 
a downright contradiction between the fenfe of 
thefe phrafes, and thofe paffages, in the fame 
paragraph, which afBrm, that '^ death reigned 
by ONE ;" that we were " dead by the offence of 
one/' and that the "judgment to condemnation 
was by the difobedience of on^*," The real 

* In what has been above offered, it will readily be per- 
ceived, that I have not endeavoured to afceitain the trae real 
meaning of the apoftle Paul in thofe phrafes, '* for that all have 
finned/* and " by the difobedience of one, many were rnade 
finners." This was purpofely erafed, left it (hould have been, 
in the prefent courfe of reafoning, too long, and too dry an 
interiuption for common reader^. What I have to fay upon 
this head, I have referyed for a fupplement, in which I (hall 
clofely and critically examine thefe phrafej, and the pafTages in 
which they are found. To this part of the work, the more in- 
quifitive reader is referred ; where, it may be, he will meet with 
that which will pofitively let him into the juft import of the 
phrafes that hare been mentioned. 



truth, upon the whole, is, that Adam's being 
the conftituted head of his pofterity, in a lenfe 
that would infer, that they sinned when he '^ eat 
of the forbidden tree,'* and are chargeable with 
tranfgreflion in this inftance wherein he tranfgrelT- 
ed, is not only an abfurdity in reafon, but a 
thing quite remote from the apoftle's thought, 
and indeed abfolucely inconfiftent with the whole 
fcopeof his argument in this portion of Scripture, 
We may therefore befure, thepofterity of Adam 
^re not fubjefted to fufFerings and death, in con- 
fequence of the original lapfe, becaufc they fin- 
ned when Adam finned ^ no conflitution, in con- 
fiftency" with the make of men, as individual mo- 
ral agents, could put this within the reach of 

But, if the pofterlty of Adam are not fubjedled 
to a ftate of fuffering and death, as hsiving Jtnned 
fuhen he Jinned^ the queflion flill recurs, from 
whence does this proceed? How comes it to pafs, 
that the judicial fentence, which waspafTed upgn 
him, takes place upon them alfo ? The anfwer 
whereto is plainly this: 

As Adam was the natural head, root, or 
(lock, from whence the human fpecies were to 
come into being, their fubjeclion to fufFering and. 
death became unavoidable, upon the judicial aft 
of God, which condemned him thereto. For as 
is the (lock, fo muft the branches be 3 and as is 
the fountain, fo mufl the waters be that flow from 
\u \ ihall not think it needlefs, or impertinent, 



to dilate a little in explaining myfelf upon this 
point J as it enters fo eflcntially into the fubjedt 
we are upon, and the apoflle Paul's account of 
the lapfe, in the 5th chapter of his Epiftle to the 
Romans. Let it then be obferved, 

Though it pleafed God, without the interven- 
tion of fecond caufes, to give being to the firfl 
man Adam ; yet it was with an intention, that he 
fbould be the head, root, ox ficck, from whence, 
in a mediate fucceffive way, conformably to laws 
cflablilhed by his wifdom, the whole human race 
fhould be brought into exiftence. This being the 
plan, according to which mankind were to have 
their beings in the world, the condition, or cir- 
cumflances, under which they were to receive 
them, was unavoidably dependant on the condi- 
tion, or circumftancer, of him who was their 
original father. Had he, by his integrity, in his 
day of trial, fecured that favour of his Maker, 
which put him in poflefTion of paradife, and gave 
him accefs to the *' tree of life,'* defigned to 
render him immortal*, he would have tranfmit- 


* Ft ought to be particularly remembered here, Adam, in his 
innocent ftate, was naturally a mortal creature. He was made 
©f ** the duft,** and, according to the courfeof nature, would 
have " returned to duft," had it not been for •* the tree of 
life," which, by virtue communica:ed 10 it from God, or by its 
being a divinely inftituted fymbol of the perpetual continuance of 
life, would have made it certain, that that which was mortal 
fhouM, by the in-erpofnion of grace, be made immortal. So that 
the judicial fentencc, dooming Adam to death, was really nc- 
|J)in^ more than the wijhdrawm^nt of tjiat free favour, to which 



ted exiftence to his defcendints under thefe ad- 
vantages : whereas, on the other hand, having, 
by his difobedience, in the article wherein he was 
tried, expofed himfelf to an exclufion from para- 
dife, and a right to " take of the tree of lifci*' 
and not only fo, but to a judicial fentence from 
the fupreme lawgiver and judge, *^ curfing the 
earth for his fake," that is, that he might be in 
a date of labour and forrow, till he fhould ^' re- 
turn to the duft" out of which he was taken ; 1 
fay, it now became impoffible, confidently with 

it was entirely owing, that he might have enjoyed immortality, 
without pafling through death. The defcendants from Adam 
come into being, as he did, naturally mortal, corruptible crea- 
tures : only with this difference, the favour of God, which, if 
Adam had not been difobedient, would have continued him in 
life for ever, without the intervention of death, is not granted 
to his poUeriiy. And what obligation can it be fuppofed God 
could be under to prevent that death, which, according to the 
courfe of nature, would take place in confequence of thofe cor- 
ruptible materials of which we are formed? It was moil cer- 
tainly a matter of choice, under the diredion of wifdom, whether 
he would, or would not, interpofe by his grace to hinder that, 
which muft otherwife come into efFed. And, as he had feea 
fit to countera<?l, by a difplay of favour, the natural operation 
of eflablifhed laws, who Ihall charge him with having done 
wrong ? It would be an ungenerous return to the good God, if 
I did not add here, that the pollerity of Adam may, upon the 
foot of a new plan of grace through Chiift, be as fureof a happy 
immortality, if they are obedient fince the lapfc, as they would 
have been, if Adam had continued in innocence ; only with thi* 
difference, they might, in that cafe, have enjoyed perpetual life, 
without death ; whereas they muft nowpafs through death before 
the mortal can>puc on immortality. 



the eftablifhed method in which his pofterity were 
to come into exiftence, but that it (hould be 
tranfmitted to them under the difadvantageous 
circumftances of forrow and mortality, to which 
their firfl: father had himfelf been fubjeded. The 
condemnatory fentence, pronounced againft Adam 
for his " one offence," could not but extend 
CONSEQUENTIALLY to them, and affedl them, as 
they were to proceed out of his loins, according 
to eftablifhed laws. God muft have altered tlie 
cilablifhed method of their coming into exiftence, 
or their fharing with their common father in the 
difadvantages under which he pofiefled life, by 
reafon of his lapfe, muft have been unavoidable 
in the nature of thing?:. 

This I take to be the true anfsver to the above 
queftion -, and, indeed, to all the objedions 
which have been made to our being in a futfer- 
ing ftate, through the offence of the one man 
Adam. And I cannot but efteem it entirely 
fatisfa^tory ; and the rather, becaufe our frail 
mortal condition, in confequence of the fin of 
our firft progenitor, is, in this view of it, per- 
fe»5lly analogous to what ftill happens every day, 
in confequence of eftablifhed laws in general, and 
the law of propagation in particular. 

It is the real truth of fa6t, not only that man- 
kind are made, and preferved, by the interven- 
tion of fecond caufes, in an eftabliftied courfe; 
but that this is the occafion of numberlefs infeli- 



cities, which they daily groan under, but cannot 
prevent. There is not a perfon in all the world, 
but has fuffered more or lefs, in one kind or ano- 
ther, in confequencc of thofe eftabliflied conec- 
tions which conflitute what we call, the courfe of 
nature. This is particularly the cafe of children 
with refped to their more immediate progeni- 
tors. They not only derive from them that 
mortality, with its attendants, which is common 
to all men 5 but various special disadvan- 
tages, by means whereof life is rendered far 
lefs defirable than it would otherv/ife have been. 
Thoufands and ten thoufands of children have 
had tranfmitted to them, in confequence even 
of the vices of thofe they defcended from, con- 
ftitutional diforders, which have been the occa- 
fion, not only of tormenting fenfacions while 
they lived, but of bringing on death before they 
had continued on the earth one half the general 
period of human life. Nay, it has often hap- 
pened, that children have been fufferers, and to a 
great degree too, even in confequence o{ judicial 
fentences both from God and man, taking rife 
from the mifdoings of their parents. The con- 
nexion, indeed, between parents and children 
is fuch, that parents cannot beyW/V/W/ypuniflied, 
either by God or man, but children will, in 
fome fhape or other, be fufferers with them. 
And, in many cafes, a condemnatory fentence^ 
calling place upon parents, cannot but conse- 



QUENTIALLY extend to their children, depriving 
thenn of fuch advantages in life, as will fubjedl 
them to a flate of comparative mifery. 

And, perhaps, there is no way in which we 
can fo well account for this, as by recurring to 
eftabliflied laws, in confequence of which it be- 
comes unavoidable, that children (hould be 
liable to fufFerings, through even the default of 
their parents. And the fubje<5lion of mankind 
in general to a fu^Fering mortal flate, in confe- 
quence of the lapfe of Adam, and his condemn- 
ation therefor, is, in this way, as eafily and 
fully reconcilable with the juftice and benevo- 
lence of God, as the fufFerings of particular 
children, in confequence of the folly of their 
more immediate progenitors. They both arife 
from the fame caufe, and evidently bear an 
analogy to each other. 

II. The other thing mankind univerfally arc 
fubjedted to, fince the lapfe, and in confequence 


it might otherwife have been, rendering it 
morally impoflible that they (hould, upon the 
foot of STRICT RIGOROUS LAW, attain to the 
juftification of life. 

This Jfak of nature is confidered by many 
under the notion of a moral taint j an infec- 
tion, corruption, or depravity, that is sinful, 
or WICKED. But this, without all doubt, is an 



iiripoflibility in the moral world. Nothing tranf- 
mitted to us from Adann, or any of our more 
immediate parents, can, fimply in this view, 
tnske us Jinful^ or^ what means the fame thing, 
morally faulty. It may be our unhappinefs 
to come into exiftence with a nature lefs per^ 
fe5l than it might have been; but it cannot 
be, that we fhould be blameworthy on this 
account. We are incapable fubjedts of blame, 
till we become moral agents : nor can we thea 
deferve blame, only as we are chargeable with 
voluntary negled in improving, or reftraining, 
or governing the nature that has been commu- 
nicated to us. This is fo evident, upon the bare 
propofal, that no medium of proof can make ic 
more fo. It is indeed a truth intuitively appearing 
to be fo to alii who have not, in one way or ano- 
ther, become " vain in their imaginations," 
having " darkened their hearts." Without our 
own agency, how fhould it be pofllble we fhould 
be blameworthy ? And are we at all concerned, 
as agents, in our own formation ? Do not we 
come into being abfolutely independent on our- 
felves ? What more grofsiy abfurd, therefore, 
than to think, or fuppofe, that Adam, becaufe 
he had finned, fhould tranfmit to his pofterity a 
nature that is finful ; or fuch as that it may be 
charged with moral fauhinefs, as it exifts 
SIMPLY in the ftate in which ic was tranf- 
mitted ? 

M Perhaps, 


Perhaps, Chriflian divines have fpoken upon 
no fiibjed with greater inaccuracy, not to fay 
inconfiftently with the truth, than upon the 
article we are now confidering. It has been too 
generally their dodtrine, that the pofterity of 
Adam, as they come into exiftence, are, in con- 
fequence of his lapfe, morally depraved in 
all their powers. Hence the frequent mention 
that is made, in their writings, of a moral blind- 
nefs of mind, perverfenefs of will, hardnefs of 
heart, ftupidity of confcience, irregularity of 
pafTions and affedions, which mankind univer- 
fally are born with •, and as their fault too, and 
what they are blameable for, fo as on this ac- 
count to be liable to the eternal wrath of Al- 
mighty God. But no fuch dodlrine as this can 
be the truth of revelation^ becaufe inconfiftent 
with the real, known, certain ftate of human 
nature, in its fimple form, as tranfmitted from 
Adam. Neither our underftandings, or wills, 
or hearts, or confciences, or afFedlions, are any- 
more at fir ft than implanted powers, abfolutely in- 
capable, at prcfent, of moral exertion 5 though 
capable of opening and expanding, and be- 
coming, in time, fitted therefor. How, in this 
view of the matter, fhould we be accountable for 
thofe powers, upon our firft coming into exift- 
ence, or chargeable with any fault for their being 
what they are? For they are now fuch, and only 
fuch, as the Author of our being, abfolutely 



without any cbolcg or dcwg of ours, was plcafed, 
according to a courfe of nature his own wifdom 
eftablifhed> to communicate to us. It is no 
more our fault, it is not pofTible, in the nature of 
things, it fhould be, that we have not as perfect 
powers as any may fuppofe Adam to have had ia 
innocency, than that we iiave not tiie fame powers 
the angels in heaven are endowed with. The 
good culture, and proper exercife, of our im- 
planted powers, is that, and that only, on ac- 
count of which we are capable, in the nature of 
things, of being chargeable with blame. I fhall 
not think it an impertinence to illuftrate this by 
a particular inftance. 

The mental power we call the underftanding, 
is at firft a naked capacity, fitted for the recep- 
tion of knowledge, bur, at prefent, totally de^" 
titute of it. For there can be no knowledge 
without ideas ; and thefe, conforniably to the 
eftablifhed courfe of nature, are acquired but 
(lowly and gradually. ImprefTions from the ma- 
terial world, by the intervention of fuitably 
adapted bodily organs, affcdl the mind, and in 
time (lore it with ideas ; which ideas, together 
with the perceptions we have of the operations of 
ourovv'n minds, are the true fource of the-icnow- 
ledge we naturally attain ro> in this prefent ftate. 
Is it now any fault of ours, that we come into 
exigence thus dcllitute of actual knowledge ? 
Will any affirm, that we are, upon this account, 

M 2 7)1 or ally 


morally blind, orfinfully in the dark ? A man mud 
be out of his fenfes to fuppofe fuch a thing. 

Should it be faid, the underftanding, confi- 
dered as one of the powers of our nature, is 
tranfmitted to us, by reafon of the lapfe, in a lefs 
perfe<5l (late than it would otherwife have been. 
Be it fo. What follows herefrona ? Not that we 
zxt faulty in poireffing this power in this lefs per- 
fect ftate; not that it is ouvfiny and that we are 
blanneworthy on this account. It may be our 
unhappinefs, that our faculty of underftanding is 
not communicated in a more perfedl (late; but 
k is not, neither is it pofTible it (hould be, an 
immorality^ or vice in us. This power, in the 
fimple (late in which it is tranfmitted to us, is 
jull fuch as God was pleafcd it (hould be. And 
if there is any moral fault in its being no better, 
wherever the reproach finally terminates, we are 
certainly clear of it. 

The plain truth is, there is no imaginable 
fenfe in which we can be faulty, or chargeable 
with fin, with refpedb to our underftanding, but 
by negle6ling, or mifufing it, after we are be- 
come proper moral agents. And here, one would 
think, without going any further back, there is 
room enough for blame. And, indeed, we are 
all blameable, in a lefs or greater degree, for 
want of care in the culture of our underitandings, 
or for not making a wife and good ufe of them. 
Though it ought to be well obferved here, the 
fault, with refped to the underftanding, which 



tfje Scripture defcribes by its being «' blinded," 
or " darkened,'* is always the refult of moral 
folly in \ht perfons tbemfeheSy vvhofe underftandings 
are reprefented to be in this bad itate. This 
<* blindnefs," or *^ darknefs," is of that fort which 
argues a wilfully depraved mind, and could noc 
have taken place, if the fubjefbs of it had noc 
negledled their underftanding, cr abufed their 
natural powers, by perverting it to thofe ends for 
which it was not implanted in them. 

It may, in a fcnfe, it is true, be faid, even of 
the beft of men, that they have " darkened their 
hearts," and " blinded their minds ;" for who will 
pretend, that he has made fogooda ufe of the means 
of information and inftrudion as he ought to have 
done, and might have done ? Yea, who can de- 
clare, and do it with truth, that he has not 
adlually been the occafion of introducing dark- 
nefs, inflead of light, into his mind, in a Icfs or 
greater degree, by criminally indulging too un- 
reafonable prejudices, and undue attachments 
to his pafiions and affedions ? But even this 
*' blindnefs," which good men, in this imperfcel 
ilate, are too often chargeable with, is not that 
which is pointed out in Scripture, when it fpeaks 
of the '' heart as darkened," and the '^ mind as 
alienated from God through ignorance." It is 
rather now defcribing the character of habitually 
wicked men, and giving us an idea of that moral 
corruption, or defilement of their underftand.- 
M 3 ings. 


ings, v;hich is not the effefl of xn^rt frailty^ but 
o^ great wilfulnejs and perverfenefs. 

What has been thus faid of the underdanding, 
is equally applicable to all our other implanted 
powers, and will readily be perceived to be fo 
by every intelligent reader. They are all, at 
Jlrjl^ mere capacities only, neither fitted nor 
defigned for prefent moral exertion, but yet fo 
formed as that, in time, they may attain to an 
ability herefor. And thefe capacities, what- 
ever they are upon our firft coming into the 
world, being precifely fuch as were commiuni- 
cated to us, abfolutely without any will, adion^ 
or influence of ours, conformably to laws efta- 
bliihed by the God of nature from the beginning 
of the creation, how fhould they be morally 
faulty in their firft fimple exiilence ? Nothing is 
more felf-evidently true, than that their becom- 
ing morally depraved, in whatever degree they 
are thus depraved, is, and mull be, the effed of 
the perfofial folly of each individual fubjecl of 
thefe powers, by the negledl, mifimprovement, 
abufe, and perverfion of them. Nor is any fon 
of Adam efieemed blameworthy, with refpeft to 
thefe original capacities, upon any other account, 
or in any other view, in any part of the whole 
book of God. 

It is commonly faid here, Adam had, by 

his «^ one offence," corrupted his whole nature; 

and, being hinifeif a creature totally corrupt, 

I. before 


before Jie was a father, fuch alfo mud be his 
pofterity. The defcendants from him inuil be, 
as he was, morally corrupt, or finful, in all their 
tranfmitted powers. 

The reply is obvious. Adam, in virtue of 
the law of propagation, eftablillied by God, was 
no more than the medium, inPirument, or means, 
by which the human kind, in diftinclion from 
every other, fhould be brought into exiftence. 
He could only tranfmit, in confequence of this 
law, THAT NATURE which would denominate the 
• defcendants from him men, and not creatures 
of another fort or kind. His fuperinduced 
charadler, as a morally corrivpt man, was no part 
of that nature he was made, by God, an inftru- 
ment m tranfmitting to others : nor indeed could 
it have been in confiftency with the eternal rule 
of right. There can be no fuch thing 2is moral 
depravity, but in conne6lion v/ith mifuied moral 
agency. And will any fay, that the mifufed 
moral agency of one man can, by propagation, 
be tranfmitted to another, fo as to be his mif- 
ufed moral agency? Yea, that this miUifcd 
moral agency is capable of being communicated 
from one mcrally corrupt man, througiiout all 
generations to the end of time ? And yet, this 
mud be the cafe, if Adam, becanfe he had 
vwrally corrupted himfelf, mud: tranfmit moral 
corruption to all that ever have, or will proceed 
from him. There is not a more certainly knovvn 
truth, than that the qualities of parents, conii- 
M 4 diMcd 


dered as virtuous or viciousy in confequence of the 
good or bad ufe of their moral agency, are not 
tranfmitted to children. The machines, called 
our bodies, it is true, may, in confequence ot 
the virtues or vices of progenitors, be tranf- 
mitted in a better or worfe flate to be employed 
as inftruments for the foul to a6t by. But this 
infers only a more or lefs advantageous commu- 
nication of exiftences not any w^T^/ faultinefs, or 
finfulnefs, in the exiftence itfelf^ confidered 
fimply as communicated. We come into being, 
in the way of generation, exiftences of the fame 
rank, or order, that Adam was, in diftindion 
from the other creatures; but as to any fuper- 
induced qualities, confidered as virtuous or vi- 
cious, they were not propagated from him to any 
of his immediate children, nor from them to 
any other generations : nor was it ever intended 
by God that they Ihould, in virtue of the di- 
vinely infiituted law of multiplying the human 
kind. The powers that effentially conftitute the 
nature of man, in diftindlion from the other 
fpecies of creatures, are communicated by gene- 
ration, not that ftate of thofe powers which is 
the effeft of the good or bad improvement of 
them. The proper juft character of every indi- 
vidual of the human race, as virtuous or viciouSy 
as mordly depraved or holy, muft be determined, 
not by their powers, as fimply communicated 
with their exiftence, but by the ufe they make 
of them, after they have arrived to an ability of 



lading as moral agents. This account of the 
matter is both intelligible and reafonable ; and 
|iot only fo, but it perfc6tly agrees with revela- 
tion, which blames no man but for his folly in 
not making that ufe of his tranfmicted powers, 
under the advantages he is favoured with, which 
it is reafonable he Ihould do, and muft be felf- 
condemned if he does not. 

It may not be amifs to add here. How is it 
known, that Adam was that entirely corrupted 
creature^ '^ indilpofed to all good, and prone to 
all evil continually," he is reprefenred to have 
been ? Does the Scripture teach us this for 
truth? It informs us, it is aknowledged, that he 
difobeyed in the one article wherein he was 
tried j and that, in confequence of this fin of his, 
he became expofed to the penalty of the lav/ he 
had violated ; infomuch, that it might have been 
immediately put in execution. But where do we 
find, that, in confequence of his lapfe, his 
WHOLE NATURE bccame fmfully corrupt, either 
by natural operation^ or divine infii5lion? It is 
not eafy to conceive, how one fingle adt of fin 
fhould naturally operate to produce at once this 
efFedl. It certainly does not fo operate, with 
refpedt to thofe of his pofterity, who are '^ new 
men in Chrifl:." And no good reafon can be 
given, vvhy its operation fliould be fo widely dif- 
ferent in regard of their firft father. And are we 
fold by the infpired writers, that this befel him, 
jn a way of punifhmen^j by inflidtioq from the 

Deity ? 


Deity ? Mod certainly Mofes has given us no 
juch accouhr; though he has particularly re- 
corded the fVotence of condemnation that was 
pafTed on him k>r his '^ one offence." If any other 
of the facrcd penmen have tranfmitted fuch an 
one, let it be plainly and particularly pointed out. 
In the mean time, it fhould be remembered, 
Adam, notwithftanding his lapfe, and all the 
effects of it, whether natural or judicial, was 
favoured by God, and even before the condemna- 
tory fentence was pafTed, with the promife of 
THE woman's SEED, in confcqucncc of which, 
being placed under a new ftate of trial, he might 
fo ufe, and improve, his originally implanted 
powers, as to attain the character of a truly 
rif^hteous man, formed to a meetnefs for an eter- 
nal life of blelTednefs in the refurredlion-world. 
And, for aught that is known by any one living 
to the contrary, this might have been his cha- 
raBeVy he might have been this righteous matjy 
before he had pofierity. And if this was the 
cafe, it may as reafonably be faid, that the de- 
fcendants from him were horn righteous, as tliat 
they would have been horn ccrrupty had he been 
the corrupt creature that is pretended ; though 
the real truth is, neither a virtuous or vicious 
chara6ter is tranfmitted by propagation. This . 
always was from the beginning of the world, 
and will be to the end of it, confequent upon a 
good or bad ufe of the effential powers that have 



been communicated, conformably to the efta- 
blifhed law of propagation. 

It is faid likewifc, in vindication of our de- 
riving from Adam, with our very exigence, a 
totally corrupt nature^ that we may feel the work- 
ings of this corruption, and fo as to know, from 
our own inward perceptions, that we really are 
the corrupt creatures we are reprefented to be. 
I anfw^r, be the perceptions of the working of 
corruption as flrong, and general, as any may 
fuppofe them to be, it will not follow from 
hence, that any fon of Adam ever felt the work- 
ing of what is called original corruption, or 
corruption communicated with exiftence itfelf. 
Who, among all that have defcended from the 
firft pair, can fay, from their own experience, 
what their inward workings were, when they firft 
came into exiftence ? They were then no more 
capable of feeling moral corruption, than of 
morally corrupting themfelves. It requires time, 
I might fay years, according to the eftabliOi- 
ment of heaven, before we are capable either of 
moral feeling, or moral exertion. Be the feel- 
ings, therefore, of any, after their arrival to a 
capacity of moral difcernment, as they may, 
they are not the perceptions of tlie workings of 
their nature when they firft came into beino-. 
They may, by this time, have made themfelves 
the fubjeds, in a lefs or greater degree, of 
moral corruption s and, if they ihould feel the 



workings of it, it would be nothing flrange j 
but no more could be argued from hence than 
this, that they are now morally corrupt crea- 
tures; not that they were fo the firft moment 
they came into the world. They may know, 
and with ail certainty, from the present work- 
ings of corruption, which they have the aflual 
perceptions of, that they are at present pol- 
luted 'y but that their nature was, at firll, in the 
fimple Rate in which it was communicated, thus 
polluted, is what they do not feel, ever did, or 
ever could. 

It is fald ialfo, the general prevalence of fin^i 
from the days of Adam, through all fuccefTive 
generations, to this day, is a fure argument in 
proof of our bringing into the world with us a 
morally depraved or finful riature. How elfe 
can it be accounted for, that the " v/orld fhould 
lie in wickednefs," as has been the cafe all along 
from the beginning? It is readily owned, the 
wickednefs of mankind has been, and now is, 
awfully great and general j and this, notwith- 
Itanding all the preventive methods of heaven, 
vpon the plan of grace through Chrift: though, 
perhaps, fome may have been betrayed into a 
like midake with that of the prophet Elijah, 
who fuppofed the idolatry of the people of Ifrael 
was fo univerfal, that he was left the alone wor- 
Ihipper of Jehovah, the one true and living God^ 
•while yet the real t;ruth v/as, that God hacj 



among that people feven thoufand, who had not 
bowed the knee to Baal. There has beenj with- 
out all doubt, a number of truly pious holy 
imen, in all ages, fince the lapfc. What propor- 
tion this nuniber has borne to the innpious and 
unfandtified, is known, with exadnefs, to God 
only. So far as we are able to judge, from the 
pad hiftory, and prcfent ftate of the world, ic 
may, I believe, be faid in general, that the 
righteous have been few in comparifon with the 
wicked. But the wickednefs of the wicked, 
however great or general, is no argument that 
we are born with morally depraved or fmful na- 
ture. Neither Adam, nor Eve, were created 
finfulj and yet they both fell by tranfgreflion : 
which is a demondrative proof, that there may 
be the commifiion of fin, without a previoufly 
fuppofed corrupted nature. It will, doubtlefs, 
be fuggcfted here, the created finlefs beings in 
our world were only two : whereas, fince their 
lapfe, in the fcveral fuccefllve periods of time, 
finful men have been vailly numerous. And 
how fhould fuch valt numibers exhibit fuch plen- 
tiful evidence of their being finful creatures, if 
they did not come into being with Hnful natures? 
The anfwer is obvious. If two only, v/ithout an 
originally finful nature, might be overcome by 
temptation to violate the law of their Maker, the 
fame thing was equally pofTible for two more, 
and fo on to any aHigned number. No reafon 
can be given, why it mud have been otherwife. 


And, it is the truth of fa6t, fo far as we may 
eive credit to revelation, that thoufands and ten 
thoufands of originally created finlefs beings, re- 
belled againft the God who brought them into 
cxiftence. The angels that finned were at firft 
angels of light, and yet they made themfelves 
devils, and in nuaibers awfully great. We are 
told, that a legion of them were in one man 
only, in the days of our Saviour Jefus Chrift. 
The general wickednefs of mankind may as 
eafily, perhaps much more eafily, be ac- 
counted for without the fuppofition of a pre- 
vioufly finful nature. The plain truth is, neither 
angels nor men, Adam or his pofterity, were' 
made impeccable creatures. The polTibility, 
therefore, of their making themfelves finners, is 
effentially founded in their original conftitution, 
as fallible mutable creatures. Whether we can or 
cannot point out, with precifion, how that which 
was poffihk becomes a^iialy is a matter of- no 
great importance j though it certainly is, that 
we do not impofe upon ourfelves or others, an 
account of this matter that isfalfe-, as would be 
the cafe, if we (hould afcribe the wickednefs of 
men, fince the lapfe, to a finful nature com- 
municated to them with their exiftence. For 
this would be grofsly abfurd in itfelf, and 
an utter inconfiftency with the whole moral 

It is flill faid, in proof of our being born with a 
morally corrupt nature, that this is one of the firfl 



things made manifed in the temper and condufl of 
little children. It is acknowledged, that children, 
very early, difcover their being the lubjeds of 
various appetites, paflions, and affedions, by 
their various, and, many times, undefirable ex- 
ertions. But none, furely, will pretend, that 
their nature is finful merely, or only, becaufe it 
is endued with appetites and pafTions : for they 
were implanted in Adam at his firft creation, 
and his poflerity come into being the fubjeds of 
them, for wife and valuable ends, which could 
not have been fo well anfwered without them. 
The finfulnefs,^ therefore, of thefe appetites does 
not lie in their fimple exiftence as tranfmitted to 
us, nor yet in any exertions of them, till we 
become adual agents, and obliged as fuch, in 
duty to God, to keep them under due govern- 
ment. This little children are abfolutely in- 
capable of. They are not, at prefent, moral 
agents ; and God only knows, with any deforce 
of certainty, how long it is before they are fo : 
let therefore their difcoveries in their nonage, 
or wilfulnefs, peevifhnefs, pailion, or any thino- 
elfe that is difagreeable, be as they may, they 
are ejfentially wanting in that which will deno- 
minate them finful; and this is, a prefenc 
capacity for moral agency. Nothing they either 
think, or fay, or do, can partake of the fiature 
of fin, till they are arrived to an ability of moral 
difcernment, and to fuch a degree as to be ac- 
countable for their condud as moral agents. 



It would not be a needlefs digreffion, if t 
fhould add here, as the natural operation of our 
implanted appetites and affedions takes place, 
before our mental powers are got to a Hate 
wherein it is pofllble this operation fhould be 
morally reftrained and governed, there is great 
danger left, in after-life, the appetites and paf- 
fions fhould have the chief fway over us. It 
may be principally owing to this, that fuch 
numbers among mankind turn out corrupt, fin- 
ful creatures. This, to be fure, will much 
better account for the general wickednefs of the 
World, than any are able to account for the difo- 
bedience of two perfe(flly intelligent, and per- 
fe6lly holy creatures, in a cafe wherein they 
JTjight, fo far as appears, have eafily withftood 
the temptation they were afTaulted with, and 
retained their integrity. Some, perhaps, may 
be difpofed to complain of the eftablifhed method 
of our growing from infancy to a flate of a6lual 
moral agency. They m.ay be ready to think, it 
would have been better, if, according to the 
fettled courfe of nature, our mental powers 
might fooner have come to fuch fttength and 
vigour, as that the exercife of the appetites and 
paflions fhould have been reftrained and governed 
by them. The apcftolic folemn check, re- 
corded in Romans, ix. 20. is properly appli- 
cable here, " Who art thou, O man, that thou 
replieft againfr God ! Shall the thing formed fay 
to him who formed it. Why haft thou made me 



thus?** A fmall degree of modedy, one would 
think, might be ilifficient to keep men, " who 
are of yefterday, and know comparatively no^ 
thing,*' from finding fault with the work of that 
being, who is infinite in underftanding, as well 
as in benevolence and righteoufnefs. And there is 
lefs reafon for complaint here, as the all-wife good 
God has committed the guardianfliip of children, 
during their growth to a mature flate, to parents; 
enjoining it on them, as their indifnenfable duty, 
to exercife that moral government over them, they 
are incapable of with refpecl to themfelves. Pa- 
rents, it is true, may, by their negligence, inat- 
tention, and in ways ftill more criminal^ be the 
faulty occafion of children's being habituated to 
live and ad under the influence of the flefh, in 
oppofition to the mind. And it is a great un*- 
happinefs to children, and as great a fault ia 
parents, when they are negledted, and fuiTered, 
as they grow in years, to grow in bondage to 
appetite and pafllon ; their flate of trial for ano- 
ther world will, on this account, be rendered far 
more difficult and hazardous, than it would 
otherwife have been ; though, after all the crimi- 
nal negledls, or pofitively faulty influence of 
parents, and contraded bad habits in children 
hereupon, it remains a certain and mod com- 
fortable truth, that they may, in confequcnce of 
the plan of grace through Chrill, be delivered 
from whatever bondage they may have been 
brought into by corruption. Though they 
N Ihouia 


(hduld have been " the fervants of fin,*' they 
may become " the fervants of God," and " have 
their fruit unto holinefs, the end whereof will be 
cverlafting life.'* 

It is faid yet further, there are many pafTages 
in the facred books, which clearly and fully 
teach the dodrine of a corrupt finful nature, 
as derived from Adam to all his pofterity, in 
confequence of his lapfe. This has often been 
pretended 5 but the produced texts, faid to teach 
this, are far from containing fo grofs an abfur- 
dity. It would take up too much room to be par- 
ticular in feverally examining thefe texts 5 and it 
'might be thought needlefs, as they have been fo 
repeatedly fet in a juft and unexceptionable 
light. However, it may not be improper to 
take a brief notice of fuch of them as are fup- 
pofed to be mod flrikingly conclufive. 

One of this fort is Job, xiv. 4. " Who can 
bring a clean thing out of an unclean ? not one/*^ 
It is not eafy to conceive, how any could cite 
thefe words as a convincing proof of a finful na- 
ture derived from Adam with cxiftence itfelf, 
unlefs it be firfl: fuppofed, that they had previ- 
oufiy imbibed, and were ftrongly prepoiTefled 
in favour of this fentiment. The quoted words 
are, at firfl fight, a proverbial general faying, 
the particular, more fpecial fcnfe of which, as 
here ufed, can be afcertained in no way, but by 
the nature of the difcourfe of which it is a part, 
and to illuftrate which it -is brought. The 
i rjueftion 


queftion then is, to whatpurpofe is it introduced 
by Job? What is its connexion with the point he 
is upon? Whoever will confult the preceding and 
following words, can be at no lofs to determine, 
that it relates wholly to man's frailty as a mortal 
creature. It mud, therefore, be here ufed as a 
known common mode of fpeech, importing ia 
general, that the thing produced muft: be as that 
is from whence it proceeds. As if it had been 
faid, man that is born of a woman is a poor, frail, 
mortal creature. And how fhould it be other- 
wife, fince, from the general proverb, «^ a clean 
thing cannot proceed from unclean," it appears, 
that as is the fourc^, fo mufl: be the derivation 
from it? We proceed from thofe that are frail 
and mortal; it is, therefore, no other than may 
be expetfted, that we fhould be fo too. It is ob- 
fervable, moral uWcleanness is no part of the 
fubjeft Job is upon in this place: nor, if it had> 
would the proverb he brings to view have been to 
his purpofe. For uncleannefs, confidered in a 
Moral fenfe, cannot proceed naturally from pa- 
rents to children. They may be, as in fadt they 
really are, inftruments in conveying exiilence; 
but they cannot convey with it moral unclean- 
nefs, becaufe this is infeparable from moral 
agency in the perfons themfelves, who are the 
fubje(5ts of it. To fuppofe oth^rwife would be to 
contradict all the ideas we have of the nature of 

N a Another 


Another text we are turned to is Pfalm li. JJ 
" Behold, I was fhapen in iniquity, and in fm 
did my mother conceive me." It would be 
abfurd to fay, that David, in the latter part of 
this paflage, had it in view to reprefent his mo- 
ther as a filthy woman, as fhe muft have been, if, 
literally fpeaking^ he had been " conceived in 
fin." The abfurdity would be much greater, 
if it (hould be fuppofed, that he ought to be un- 
derftood according to the ftridnefs of the letter^ 
when he fpeaks, in the former part of the fen- 
tence, of his being " (hapen in iniquity." By 
whom was he fhapen ? His own fenfe of the 
matter is exprelled in that addrefs to God, Pfalm 
cxix. 73. " Thy hands have made me, and fa- 
fhioned me." And again, Pfalm cxxxix. i^, 
14. " Thou haft covered me in my mother's 
womb, 1 will praife thee, for I am fearfully 
and wonderfully made." In thy book, «^ were 
all my members written, which in continuance 
were fafhioned, when as yet there was none of 
them?" "Will any now imagine that David 
could mean, in the text before us, to reprefent 
God as the being that *' (haped him in ini- 
quity?" And, had he made him with a corrupt 
finful nature, would he, from heart-felt gratitude, 
have praifed him herefor ? It would reflect 
highly on him to fuppofe fuch a thing. 

Whether the words in difpute are well ren- 
dered in our Englifh Bibles, or whether they 
might be better tranflated, '^ I was born in ini-^ 



quity, and nurfed by my mother in fin,'* is a 
matter of no great importance. In either way 
of tranflation they are certainly an hyperbolical 
mode of diclion, ftrongly exprefnve of David*s 
early attachment to finful indulgences, through 
the unreftrained influence of his natural appetites, 
paflions, and affedions. What he here laments 
may be explained by that prayer of his, Pfalm 
XXV. 7. which he utters in fimple plain language; 
** Remember not the fins of my youth, nor my 
tranfgrefllons." It may be worthy of our no- 
tice, like figurative ways of fpeaking are common 
in Scripture. Says Job, in mentioning his bene- 
volent cafe of the widow, chap. xxxi. 18. '^ I have 
guided her from my mother's womb." Accord- 
ing to the flridnefs of the letter, thefe words do 
not contain the truth: for it was not pofllble he 
fhould be a guide to the widow, till he had 
arrived to a capacity of being fo, David himfelf 
ufes the fame figure, Pfalm Iviii. 3. where he 
fays, " The wicked are efi:ranged from the womb j 
they go aftray as foon as they are born, fpeak- 
ing lies," He could not here mean, that the 
wicked told lies before they had attained to an 
ability of ufing their tongues to the purpofes of 
fpeech. The language, therefore, is figurative, 
importing only an aggravation of their wicked- 
nefs-, for that they were prone to " fpcak lies'^ 
from their early days. The fame figure ftill is 
ufed by the prophet Ifaiah, chap. Iviii. 8. where, 
fpeaking of the people of Ifrael, he fays, they 
N 3 v/erc 


were *^ called tranfgrefTors from the womb-,'* 
that is, foon after their political exiftence. They 
had fcarce been formed into a nation before they 
tranfgreded. The penitential acknowledgment 
of David is evidently exprefied in the like figu- 
rative language. It would be as grofsly abfurd to 
fuppofe, literally fpeaking, that he was " fhapen 
in iniquity, and conceived in fin,'* as to fay of the 
wicked, that they could ** fpeak lies" before they 
could fpeak at all j or of a benevolent man, that 
he could be a " guide to the widow,'* before he 
could, in any fenfe, be a guide either to himfelf 
or any one elfe. Befides what has been already 
faid, it may be proper to obferve, it would be 
very extraordinary to fuppofe, that David, while 
^conferring and lamenting his fins before God, in 
all their aggravating circumftances, fhould, in the 
midft of this penitential exercife, refle<fl the blame 
of his finfulnefs on God, inftead of taking it 
wholly to himfelfj which would certainly be the 
truth of the matter, if he is brought in telling his 
Maker, he was '^ (haped in iniquity, and con- 
ceived in fin;" underftanding the words in their 
literal fenfe: whereas, if they are interpreted 
figuratively, as carrying in them this meaning, 
that he had even, from his early days, been ad- 
dicted to fin, through the prevalence of his natu- 
ral appetites, it would perfedly fall in with the 
grand bufinefs he was now engaged in, that of 
confefilng and bewailing his part: fms. It was 
highly fit and proper he ihould, upon this occa- 



fion, look back to former iniquities, even thofe 
of youth and childhood, from a deep fenfe of 
fhame and guilt. 

Another text ftill, that has often been men- 
tioned in proof of our coming into the world 
with a corrupt finful nature, is Eph. ii. i, 2, 3. 
This text 1 fliould have pafled over^ it is fo litcle 
to the purpofe for which it is brought, but that I 
was willing to take this occafion to give what 1 
judge to be the mod obvious and undoubted 
meaning, not only of the whole paiTage, but of 
thofe words in it in fpecial, " and were by nature 
the children of wrath, even as others." The apo- 
flle, that he might afFed the hearts of the Flphe- 
fian Chriftians with an admiring Ccni'e of the 
^' rich mercy and great love wherewith God had 
loved them," turns their view back, not to what 
they were when they firft came into exiftence, but: 
to what they had been in after-life, before 
their faith in Chrift, Says he, fpeaking of fuch 
of them as were converts from Gentilifm, ** Yc 
were dead in trefpalTes and fins, wherein, in 
time paft, ye walked according to the courfc 
of this world J according to the prince of the 
power of the air, the fpirit that now worketh in 
the children of difobedience.** He then add-s 
with reference to himfelf, and thofe who were be- 
lieving Jews, '^ among whom alfo we had bur 
converfation in times paft in the lufts of our 
fiefh, fulfilling the defires of the flefli and the 
mind, and were by nature the chiklren hC 

N 4 wrath^ 


wrath, even as others/' There is not a word 
in this whole paOage that can he applied to 
thofe converts, either from Gentilifm or Judaifm^ 
confidered limply in the (late in which they ftrtl 
exifted. Their charader is wholly drawn from 
their condud in life, after they became capable 
of a vicious courfe of " walking in luft/' of hav- 
ing their *^ converfation according to the defires 
of the flefh," And, having thus made themfelves 
morally corrupt, and to an high degree of guilt, 
^^ they were b-y nature the children of wraths" 
that is, judging of their cafe upon the principles 
of mere nature, they had rendered themfelves the 
objedts of Divine wrath. It is obfervable, the apo-^ 
ftie does not fay, '^ We are by nature the chil- 
dren of wrath^" but we werej; that is, in con- 
sequence of a paft, wicked, and fenfual courfe of 
life. He could not have ufed words rnore di- 
redly and fcrongly fitted to convey this fentiment, 
that their being *^ children of wrath'' was owing 
to their having been perfonaliy the '' children of 
difobedience/' and as fuch the meet objeds of 
the righteous difpleafure of Heaven j which w^s 
fo evident, that it might be clearly known from 
*' nature,'* the *' law written on man's heart," 
without any help from fupernatural revelation. 
*' We were by nature the children of wrath, even 
as others." As if thp apoftle had faid, we who 
are now believing Jews had, *' in times paft," fo 
indulged to the lufts of the flefh and mind, and 
rn^de ourfclves fuch heinous finners, that we rnight 



certainly conclude, from the law of nature only, 
that, in common with the like finful Gentiles, and 
as truly as they, we had rendered ourfelves juftly 
obnoxious to the wrath of Almighty God. This 
meaning of the apoftle gives the original word 
PHusis, NATURE, Its proper full force, is fo obvi- 
ous at the firft glance, and fo perfedly falls in 
with the whole difcourfe with which it is con- 
nected, that one can fcarce help wondering it has 
not been univerfally perceived and adopted ; 
efpecially if it be remembered, that this fame 
apoftle has told us, that " the work of the law, 
NATURALLY wrote on man's heart, fhews itfelf 
by the witnefs of confcience," in accufing and 
condemning, as well as excufing: infomuch, 
that thofe who have no other law than that of mere 
nature, may ^' know that they who commit fuch 
fins are worthy of death," defcrving of God's 
wrath, Rom. i. 32. and ii. 14, i ^y compared. 
When, therefore, he is fpeaking, in the pafTage 
before us, of thofe who had been abominably dif- 
obedienc by their own perfonal tranfgrefilons of 
the Divine law; and then fays, they " were by 
nature the children of wrath," what more eafy, 
intelligible, and confiftent meaning, can his 
words be taken in than this, that they had, judg- 
ing of their cafe upon the principles of mere na- 
ture, the diftates of common reafon, made them- 
felves " children of wrath/' 

It is faid yet further, the numerous texts of 
Scripture which affirm the neceffity of men's 



being " born again," of their being made *^new 
creatures/* of their being "anew the workman- 
fhip of God created in Chrift Jefus/* in order to 
their admiffion into the kingdom of heaven, are 
fo many clear, (Irong, and full proofs, of our be- 
incy born at firft with a corrupt and finful nature. 
Far from denying the dodrine of the '' new 
birth," I entirely acquiefce in it as a Scripture 
one, highly important, andclofely connected with 
falvation; infomuch that there cannot be the 
latter without the former. But where is the ne- 
celTity of grafting this do6lrine upon a finful na- 
ture, communicated with our beings upon our firft 
coming, into exiftence? The Bible teaches us no 
fuch thing. It is, indeed, the invention of man^^ 
and not a dedu6tion from the word of God. 

The ftate of the cafe is plainly this: as we firft 
come into being, we are nothing more than crea- 
tures of the human kind, in diftindion from every 
other. Our powers are naked capacities only, 
which, as they gradually unfold and gain ftrength, 
will, by their good or bad improvement, acquire 
different moral qualities, giving us an anfwerable 
different charader. If our natural powers are 
neglected, mifim proved, and turned afide from 
their proper ufe, we become morally corrupt, or 
finful ; but if they are cultivated and improved to 
our attaining an actual likeness to God, in 
knowledge, righteoufnefs, and true holinefs, we 
have now a new nature fuperinduced, and may, 
figuratively fpeaking, be faid to be new-born 



creatures. It is a miftake, and a very great one, 
to fay that we muft be born into the world with a 
corrupt finful nature, in order to give fenfe to 
what the Scripture means by the ** lecond birth.*' 
The idea it would convey by this metaphor, is 
that acquirement which makes men a5lual livmg 
images of God, as being the fubjeds of thofe mo- 
ral qualities vvhich are included in his chara6leras 
HOLY. They are not, upon their firft being born, 
the fubje6ls of this likenefs; but they have, in 
their nature, a capacity for its fuperindudlion: 
and whenever it is fuperinduced, they are the 
perfons of whom it may be faid, and in Scripture 
a6Vually is faid, that they are " born again;" 
and with great propriety, for they are now in the 
j;2or<3/ fenfe, as truly new-born creatures, as, in the 
natural fenfe, they v/ere born at fird. There is 
not the leaft need of a fuppofed original finful 
nature, in order to give meaning, and an highly 
important one, to what the Scripture calls the 
fecond birth; and it is, without all doubt, a real 
truth, that fome among the " born again" were 
never the fubjeds of reigning depravity, either 
natural or acquired. In confequcnce of a good 
education, animated by the fuperintending influ- 
ence of the Divine fpirit, they became poireiTed 
of thofe morally good qualities, on account of 
which men are called the *' born of God," the 
*^ born a fecond rime;" and this, before they had 
acquired that flate of mind which would have 
^ade them the " fervants of corruption." Noc 



that this is a common cafe. Generally fpeaking, 
the appetites and pafTions firft bear fway, and 
gain flrength, fo as that our nature becomes mo-^ 
rally corrupt, or finful, before we are God's chil- 
dren by being " born again." In all inftances 
of this kind, the new-birth is a change, not merely, 
or only from our nature in the fimple flate in 
which it was tranfmitted to us, but from our na-^ 
ture, as having had fuperinduced on it thofe 
qualities that are morally corrupt or finful. And 
from hence many have been led to fuppofe, that 
that finfulnefs that has been fuperinduced upon 
pature, is a finfulnefs of nature we are all born 
with J and that the new-birth takes rife from na^ 
tive depravity, corruption coeval with our firft 
cxitlence. But this would be to ground fo greaC 
and good a work as the " new man," the " new- 
born creature," upon a non-entity; for we are 
not more fure of any thing than this, that there 
cannot be moral depravity, or finfulnefs, where 
there is no prefent capacity for moral agency, as 
is infallibly the cafe with refped to every defcend- 
ant from Adam, when he firft comes into be- 

The plain truth is, a likenefs to God in his 
moral charader is, efifentiuUy, the idea the Scrip- 
ture v/ould convey by the metaphor of a " new 
birth." And this likenefs may be an acquire- 
ment either previous to, or confequent upon, a 
moral depravity or finfulnefs of nature. la 
fome, though comparatively few, ic actually i^ 


an attainment previous to, and preventive of, that 
bondage to corruption, which denominates mert 
the children, not of God, but of the evil one. 
In others, and by far the mod, it is a fuperin- 
dudlion upon their nature after they had, as 
agents, introduced into it thofe vicious qualities, 
on account of which they might juftly be called 
morally corrupt or finful creatures. But in no 
inflances whatever does the '* new birth," take 
rife from moral corruption co-exiftent with mian's 
nature, as at firft derived j for, in this fimple, 
naked (late, it is not a capable fubjed: of moral 
corruption, though capable, by mifimprovement, 
of being made morally corrupt; or, by a due cul- 
ture, under the Divine influence, of attaining 
that likenefs to God which denominates men his 
children, as being figuratively ^' born'* or 
" created again/' The facred books, indead 
of interfering with this reprefcntation of the mat- 
ter, perfectly harmonife with it. 

It would be an omifTion if I did not add here, 
that the fuperinducing upon our nature, as at 
firft tranfmitted to us, an adual likenefs to God 
in his moral glory, is the refult of that new dif- 
penfation of grace mankind were placed under 
after the original lapfe; for which reafon it may, 
with emphatical propriety, be defcribed by our 
being '* born again," by our becoming " new 
creatures," and the like. And as this new dif- 
penfation we are under is founded in Chrid, and 
has him at its head with the Holy Ghoft as his 



agent-, it is with equal propriety that we are faid 
to be " born of the fpirit/' to be the '* work- 
manfliip of God created in Ghrift Jefus." Only 
it ihould be rennembered> when the Scripture 
fpeaks of the " new-born creature,'* the " new 
man created in Chrift/' the mode of didion is 
figurative. We are, in a phyfical fenfe, the fame 
creatures after the '^ new. birch," or the *^ new 
creationj" we were before. No new faculty is 
added to our nature; but whatever is done in this 
work, is done upon thofe powo's we at firll 
brought into the world with us. A moral alter- 
ation only is effedled in us; and this is cffe6led in 
a way adapted to our chara6ler as men, or, what 
means the lanne thing, intelligent moral agents. 
God, it is true, by the influence of the Divine 
fpirir, has the main hand in forming the charac- 
ter which gives the denomination of " new men 
in Chrift;" but, in the doing of this, he conli- 
ders us as naturally endowed with the feveral 
powers of thinking, refleding, willing, choofing, 
refufing, hoping, fearing, loving, hating, and 
the like, and accordingly deals with us as fuch by 
co-operating all thefe powers in the ufe of means 
fuitably adjufted to their nature. He does not 
make men his children by regeneration without 
the ufe of their own faculties, neither does he 
form them to his own moral likenefs by giving 
them any phyfically new faculties, or by deftroying 
or making any phyfical change in their old ones; 
but accomplifhes his plcafurc in them by accom- 


rnodating his agency to their proper make and 
conftitution. The Bible always fets the matter 
in this point of light. And this method of a6l- 
ing exhibits the true reafon, and the only confid- 
ent intelligible one, of the creation of the go- 
fpel kingdom, v/ith its various means, helps, pri- 
vileges, motives, and blefTmgs. 

I have now offered what may be thought fufE- 
cient to make it evident, that we do not come into 
exiftence with a morally corrupt or finful nature: 
nor, may I pertinently add here, is our nature, as 
tranfmitted to us, fo deftitute of all capacity for 
that which is morally good, as that a native to- 
tal corruption of heart becomes hereupon univer- 
fal, without the exception of a finglc defcendant 
from the one man Adam, This, of late, appears 
to be the fentiment of fome, who v^ould be 
thought to be more confident and refined Calvin- 
ifts than their brethren. Says one% in this way 
of reprefenting the matter, *' In order to account 
'^ for a finful corruption of nature, yea, a total 
" native depravity of the heart of man, there is 
" not the lead heed of foppofmg any evil quality 
*' infufed, implanted, or inwrought into the na- 
** ture of man, by any pofitive caufe or inBuence 
** whatever, either from God, or the creature; 
*• or of fuppofmg, that is conceived and 
** born with a fountain of evil in his heart, fuch 
** as is any thing pofitive.'* How, then, poIFibly 

* Mr. Edwards, on '* Original Sin," page 317, 



can be a " total native depravity of heart" irt 
the children of Adam, or, in other words, how 
they fhould come into being morally corrupt or 
fiuful, and totally fo, without any pofitive influ- 
ence either of God or man, is a fecret this author 
has not feen fit to reveal, and it will, without all 
doubt, remain a myftery to the end of time. 
Befides, by affirming, as he does*, with great 
peremptorinefs, that the dodlrine of original fin 
'^ neither implies or infers any corruption in- 
" fufed into the human nature by pofitive influ- 
*' ence, or any quality, taint, tinfture, or infec- 
*' tion, altering the natural conftitution, facul- 
*' ties, and difpofitions of our fouls," he direclly 
contradids the dodlrine of " native univerfal cor- 
ruption of heart," as received, preached, and 
ft renuou fly pleaded for by Calvinifts of the high- 
efl: rank for learning, and other qualities, natural 
or acquired. But what is his peculiarity upon 
this point? Take it in his own words. Sayshef, 
** I think a little attention to the nature of 
** things will be fufficient to fatisfy any impartial 
*' confiderate enquirer, that the abfence of pofi- 
*^ tive good principles, and fo the with-holding 
*^ of a fpecial Divine influence to impart and 
*' maintain thofe good principles, leaving the 
*' common natural principles of felf-love, natu- 
*^ ral appetite, &c. fwhich were in man in inno- 

* Mr. Edwards, on " Original Sin," psge 316. 517. 
t Ibid. 

<« ccnce) 


*« cence) leaving thefe, I fay, to themfelves with- 
'f out the government of fuperior Divine prin- 
" ciples, will certainly be followed with the cor- 
" ruption, yea, the total corruption of the 
*^ heart, without occafion for any pofitive influ- 
*^ ence at all: and yet it was thus, indeed, that 
" corruption of nature came on Adam immedi- 
*' ately on his fall, and comes on all his pofterity 
<* as finning in him, and falling with him.** 
This is his notion. But he goes on more parti- 
cularly to open and explain it. Says he*, " The 
" cafe with man was plainly this: when God 
'f made man at firft, he implanted in him two 
*' kinds of principles : There was an inferior 
*' kind, which may be called natural, being 
" the principles of mere human nature; fuch as 
** felf-love, with thofe natural appetites and paf- 
** fions which belong to the nature of man, in 
" which his love to his own liberty, honour, and 
*« pleafure, were exercifed: thefe, when alone, 
'^ and left to themfelves, are what the Scriptures 
" fometimes call flesh. Befides thefe, there 
were fupmor principles that were fpiritual, 
holy, and divine, fummarily comprehended in 
Divine love; wherein confided the fpiritual 
image of God, and man's righteoufnefs, and 
true holinefsj which are called in Scripture 
" the Divine nature, Thefe principles may, in 
** fome fenfe, be called supernatural, being 

* Mr. Edwards, on** Original Sip,*' pagfs 317, 318, 319. 

O «< (how- 




*^ (however concreated or connate) fuch as are 
" above thofe principles that are eflentially im- 
'^ pHed in, or necefTarily refulting from, and in- 
** feparably connefled with, mere human nature-, 
** and being fuch as immediately depend on 
" man's union and communion with God, or 
'* divine communications and influences of God*s 
'' fpiritj which, though withdrawn, and man's 
*« nature forfaken of* thefe principles, human 
*' nature would be human nature ftilh man's na- 
*' ture, as fuch, being entire without thefe divine 
*' principles, which the Scripture fometimes calls 
** SPIRIT, in contradiflindlion to flesh. Thefe 
*^ fttperior principles were given to pofTefs the 
" throne, and maintain an abfolute dominion in 
*** the heart: the other, to be wholly fubordinate 
" and fubfervient. When man finned, and broke 
" God's covenant, and fell under his curfc, thefe 
" fiiperior principles left his heart: and thus man 
" was left in a flate of darknefs, woeful corrup- 
*^ tion, and ruin, nothing hut flejh without fpirit, 
" It were eafy to Ihew how every lull and de- 
•* piaved difpofition would naturally arife from 
*' privative original, if here were room for it. 
" Only God's withdrawing, as it w^ere highly 
*f proper and neceffary he fhould, from rebel 
" man, being, as it were, driven away by his 
" abominable wickednefs, and man's natural 
*' principles being left to themfelves, this is fuffi- 
*' cientto account for his becoming entirely cor- 
" rupt, and bent on finning againft God, And 

'* as 


" as Adam's nature became corrupt, without 
*' God's implanting or infufing any evil thing 
*< into his nature, fo does the nature of his 
" pofterity. God dealing with Adam as the 
** head of his pofterity (as has been fhewn), and 
** treating them as one^ he deals with his pofte- 
*^ rity as having ail finned in him. And, there- 
" fore, as God withdrew fpiritual communion, 
f^ and his vital influences from the common 
" head, fo he withholds the fame from all the 
** members, as they come into exiflence^ 
«' whereby they come into the world mere/*^, 
*' and entirely under the government of natural 
*' and inferior principles ; and fo become wholly 
** corrupt as Adam did." 

This Hate of the cafe, far from being fetched 
cither from reafon or revelation, is utterly in- 
confiftent with both. 

As to Adam : — Where are we told in the 
facred books, that the created principles by 
which he was enabled to love, honour, and obey 
his Maker, were supernatural, any more than 
his other principles, either bodily or mental ? 
The principles he was formed with were, without 
all doubt, different in their kind, fome fuperior, 
others inferior ; as it was proper they ihould be, 
becaufe defigned for different ends ; fome higher, 
others lower. But let their fuperiority or infe- 
riority be as it may, they were equally natural 
to him as a creature of fuch an order in the fcale 
of beings. Nay, if Adam, upon his being 
O 2 brought 


brought into exiftence, was obliged to behave 
with all dutiful reverence and fubmifTion to his 
Creator, he mud previpufly have had implanted 
in his nature fuch principles as would render this 
fervice perfornnable by him. It is a contradic- 
tion to all the ideas we have of that which is 
right and fit, to fuppofe otherwife. His being 
under obligations to duty, and principles in 
his nature making it poflible for him to per- 
form it, were abfolutely neceflary concomitants, 
Thofe fuperior principles, therefore, in confe- 
quence of which he might pay homage to his 
God, were no more supernatural, than his 
appetites, paflions, afFedions, or arhy other prin- 
ciples of his nature: they were essential to him 
as a moral agent, placed under moral obligations 
to the Deity. It lay wholly with God to choofe, 
whether he would make him at all, or what fore 
of creature he would make him ; but if he faw 
fit to make him a being of whom he required, 
and from whom he expected, the return of love, 
gratitude, and conftant obedience, it was in it- 
fclf right, yea abfolutely neceflary, that he 
lliould endue his nature with principles, rendering 
it poflible for him to do what was thus expefted 
and required of him. Had he created him with- 
out the natural organs of fight or hearing, could 
he have been obliged to perceive the difference 
between colours and founds, or to have had in 
his mind fo much as the idea of either ? It would 
be equally abfurd to fay, he could be bound to 



love and honour God, if he had not been formed 
with a capacity in his nature fitting him herefor. 
Such a capacity, upon fuppofition of fuch obli- 
gation, is rather a matter of juftice than of grace, 
Without the former, the latter would be morally 
wrong, unfit, unjufl. 

A diftindlion ought always to be made between 
Adam's implanted powers, and the ufe or exer- 
cife of them. His well ufing or abufing thefe 
powers, fuperior or inferior y did not give him the 
denomination of man^ that is, a creature of fuch 
a rank in the order of being : but it was £ssen- 
TiAL to his being thus denominated, that his 
nature Ihould be endued with principles that 
would render it poffible for him to conduct him- 
felf conformably to what was required of him. 
Such principles were neceffary ingredients in his 
conftitution as man, and infeparable from it ; 
infomuch that he could not have exifted a crea- 
ture of this rank or kind without them. His 
approving himfelf a good man, or becoming a 
bad one, was dependent on the ufe he fhould 
make of his implanted principles ; but he could 
not have been a creature under moral obligations 
to love and ferve his Maker, if no principles 
had been implanted in his nature; in confequence 
of which this would have been a performable 
duty : nor, would I further fay, does it appear 
from the facred books, or elfewhere, that God, 
even after his lapfe, ever withdrew from him, 
meaning hereby his leaving his nature entirely 
O 3 devoid 


devoid of thefe efifcntially necefifary principles. 
It would be highly unreafonable in itfelf, and 
greatly difhonorary to the all-wife, righteous, and 
benevolent Ruler of the world, to fuppofe fuch a 
thing, if it be at the fame time fuppofed, that he 
faw fit to continue him in being under like moral 
obligations to do duty to him. Surely, if Adam 
had been divefled of that capacity in his nature, 
that principle, or whatever other name any may 
pleafe to give it, without which it would have 
been as impoflibleforhim to love and honour the 
Deity, as to fee without having eyes, or to hear 
without having ears; he never would, he never 
reafonably could, upon being deprived of this 
capacity, have had this required of him. God 
might, it is true, upon the offence he had com- 
mitted, have immediately turned him out of 
exiflence, as he threatened he would s the tffc6t 
whereof would have been the total lofs of all his 
principles, bodily and mental, and of all his ob- 
ligations : but he faw fit, notwithftanding his 
lapfe, to continue him in being (though under a 
fentence of death), and with the fame natural 
effential principles he was endued with before his 
fall. The facred books, far from fuggefting any 
thing to the contrary, diredly lead us to think 
thus of the matter. The new ftate of trial he was 
placed under, in order to his reigning in eternal 
life after death, is clearly, I may fay effentially, 
eonneded herewith. To fay that he now exiftcd 
devoid of all capacity in his nature to do what 



was required under this nrw flate, would be as 
abfurd and unreafonable, as it was in the tafk- 
maftcr of Egypt to require " the full tale of 
brick >vithout giving any flraw." Had there 
been, upon Adam's lapfe, a total withdraw of 
that faculty, principle, or capacity in his na- 
ture, without which a compliance with the de- 
mands of the new eftablilhment he was under 
would have been impoflible, it muft have been 
reftored, or it would have been palpably abfurd 
to hav€ made fuch demands. To require that 
of a creature, though fallen, if placed under a 
new trial upon the foot of grace, which he has 
no principle in his nature, no faculty rendering 
it pofllble for him to perform, is, in the moral 
fenfe, abfolutely wrong, and muft intuitively 
appear to be fo to all who have not perverted 
their underftandings. To reprefent Adam, 
therefore, as left deftitute of thofe fu-perior prin- 
ciples in his nature, the total abfence of which, 
even under that difpenfation of grace in which he 
was placed, muft have been followed with a total 
corruption of heart, and impoftibility of doing 
any thing that could be pleafing to his Maker, is 
a bafe flander injurioufly refledled on the good 
God ; and the more fo, as it is entirely the refult 
of a vain imagination, and not the didate either 
of reafon or Scripture. 

What has been faid with reference to Adam, 

is equally, to be fure, not lefs forceably, appli- 

. gable to his pofterity. It would argue their 

O 4 being 


being cruelly, I may rather fay unjuflly, dealt 
with, to fuppofe, that they come into exiftence 
under obligations to attain to a truly virtuous 
charadler, under the penalty of eternal ruin, 
while they are, at the fame time, fuppofed de^ 
void of any faculty, or principle in their nature, 
in the exercife of which, it would be pofllble 
for them, by complying with their obligations, 
to efcape this ruin. The entire want, or abfence 
of a principle or faculty in their nature, the 
effect whereof would unavoidably be a total 
corruption in heart and life, and a liablenefs 
hereupon to certain remedilefs mifery, is, in 
reality of conflrudlion, precifely the fame thing, 
as if they had been brought into this wretched 
condition by the pofitive infufion of principles 
that are corrupt. There is certainly no dif- 
ference as to the unavoidablenefs of the event; 
Tior is there any, in point of equity, as to the 
way in which-this event is effedled. \i they muft 
be corrupt creatures, and as fuch expofed to the 
vengeance of heaven, it matters not whether, 
what is thus unavoidable, takes rife from pofttive 
or /)ni;^/ii;^ principles 5 the infufion of thofe that 
are bad, or the withholding thofe which would 
have made it pofTible they might not have got 
into this deplorable ftate. The Scripture, far 
from giving this abfurd account of the matter, 
is particularly clear and exprefs in afTuring. us, 
that the pofterity of Adam, notwithftanding his 
lapfe, or any confequences of it, come into e?^- 



illence under an eftabliihmenc of grace, putting 
thenn upon trial for an eternal happy life after 
death. It is accordingly declared, in all parts 
of the facred books, that they Ihall be dealt 
with, in the great day of retribution, conform- 
ably to what they have done in the body -, and 
that it will be their own fault, not owing to 
Adam, or any other being in heaven, or helJ, 
or earth, but wholly to themfelves, and the mif- 
ufe of the faculties they were endued with, if 
they are adjudged to mifery, and not happinefs. 
Now the fuppofition only of their being in fuch 
a (late of trial is in itfelf an abfurdity, as being 
inconfiftent with that which is morally fit and 
right, if there is in their nature the total abfence, 
or want of a capacity, faculty, or principle, 
without which this trial they are placed under, 
would unavoidably prove ruinous to them. Is 
there any underftanding to which it would not 
appear grofsly abfurd to fuppofe, that men Hiould 
be put under trial for their perceptions of founds 
or colours, if they had no organs planted in their 
conftitution, making it pofTible for them either to 
hear or fee? The abfurdity is not lefs glaring to 
fay, that they come into a world in v/hich they 
are under trial as to their being truly virtuous, 
when, at the fame time, it is affirmed, that they 
have no faculcy, no capacity in their nature, in 
the ufe or exercife of which this is pofTible. It is, 
indeed, upon fuch a capacity in nature, which 
the human kind come into exiflenee endued with, 



that the fcheme of grace through Chrift h 
grounded. It does not fuppofe that any faculty, 
or principle, proper to man as a moral, intelli- 
gent agent, or that Adam, the firll progenitor, 
had implanted in his conftitution, was deftroyed 
by the lapfe, either naturally, or by pofitive de- 
privation i nor does it make provifion for the 
fuperindu6lion of any phyfically new faculty or 
capacity in any of the fons of menj but what- 
ever it propofes fhould be done, is done upon 
faculties or capacities they bring into the world 
with exiflence itfelf. It does not lead us to 
think, that their becoming vicious, inflead of 
virtuous, is owing to the want, or abfcnce, of a 
faculty or principle in their nature, without 
■which this is abfolutely unavoidable ; but to their 
own negligence, folly, and fin, in not making 
that ufe of their implanted principles and facul- 
ties they might have done, and ought to have 
(done, under the helps and advantages they are 
favoured with. And, in truth, had they no 
faculty or capacity in their nature, in the exer- 
cife of which they could, upon the edabiifhment 
of grace through Chrifl:, attain the character of 
virtuous perfons, the whole gofpel-apparatus of 
means, helps, advantages, arguments, and mo- 
tives, could be of no more confideration, than 
preaching over the graves of men naturally dead 
and buried would be, in order to their rifing 
alive out of them. There mufl be a capacity, 
cr principle in nature, in confequence gf which 



men may be truly virtuous, or it is impoflible 
they fhould be fo. If therefore this capacity is 
wanting in human nature, or abfent from it, ic 
mud be created and introduced by the almighty 
miraculous power of God, or means, motives, 
perfuafiotty and the like, will be fo many no- 
things. We might as well be without them as 
with them. They would have no more influencfc 
upon the produ6tion of this faculty, or principle, 
than mere founds would have to give life to the 
dead in their graves : nor, in this cafe, would 
there be a foundation laid in nature either for 
blame or punifhment. 

The plain truth is, it is always taken for 
granted, in the gofpel fcheme of grace, that the 
pofterity of Adam come into exiftence with im- 
planted capacities, or principles, in the due ufe 
of which they may attain to a moral likenefs to 
God, and meetnefs for the enjoyment of him ; 
and it provides for the help and guidance of 
thofe implanted principles, in order to prevent, 
in a moral way adapted to the charadler of 
moral agents, their becoming " the fervants of 
fin •/' or, fhould this be unhappily the cafe, it 
affords all needed afTiftance in order to their 
being " delivered from the bondage of corrup- 
tion into the glorious liberty of the fons of 
God." And this it effecls, not by creating a 
new underftanding, but by enlightening the old 
one ; not by producing any new faculties, but 
by feverally applying to old ones, according to 



their refpedlive natures. Nothing phyfically 
new is introduceJ, no power, no principle, no 
capacity, by which we difcern, choofe, relilh, 
approve, love, or hate, what we could not be- 
fore, through the abfence, or want, of a faculty 
in our nature herefor. There is indeed no need 
of the infufion of any new faculty in order to our 
being " new men in Chrift," and interefted, as 
fuch, in the promifes of the gofpel-covenant. 
The due exercife of thofe naturally planted in 
the hunaan conftitution, will be fufficient for the 
purpofe i and they may be thus efFeflually exer- 
cifed under the helps, means, and advantages 
of that kingdom of grace God has created in 
our lapfed world. 

It will perhaps be faid here, there is no fa- 
culty or principle in the nature of Adam's 
pofterity, as fuch, to difiinguifh between moral 
good and evil, or to perceive the beauty of the 
former, and the deformity of the latter, fo as to 
approve and relifh the one, and difapprove and 
be difgufted at the other. The anfwer is eafy. 
The God of nature has fo framed our minds, and 
given us fuch a natural power of dirccrnment, 
that it mud be owing to fome great huh we 
ourfelves are perfonally chargeable with, if we 
cannot at once fee the difference between right 
and wrong, in the more important points of 
moral obligation. Will any man, who has not 
ilrangely vitiated his perceptive powers, pretend 
that he cannot, or does not fee it to be right 



and fit, on the one hand, for fuch creatures as 
we are, to love, honour, and worfhip the God 
who gave us our beings i and, on the other, to 
be unfit and wrong to hate him, and behave 
with irreverence and undutifulnefs towards hinn ? 
Will any man, not deprived of natural reafon, 
calnnly and deliberately fay, that he does not at 
once fee it to be right, that he ^' fhould do to 
others as they ought to do to hinn,*' and wrong 
that he fhould do otherwife ? Will any man, not 
loft to common fenfe, pretend, that he cannot 
fee a difference between honefly and knavery, 
kindnefs and cruelty, brotherly love and hatred, 
chafticy and lewdnefs, temperance and debauch- 
cry ; or that he does not perceive the former to 
be amiable lovely virtues, and the latter de- 
teftable infamous vices ? The moral difference 
between thefe tempers and behaviours is {tlf- 
evident to thofe who have not blinded their 
eyes, and rendered themfclves not eafily capable 
of difcernment. There needs no argumenta- 
tion, no feries of intermediate ideas to enable 
men to perceive this difference; and that it is, 
on the one hand, right; and, on the other, 
wrong. The bare mentioning thefe virtues and 
vices, provided it be done in intelligible words, 
is at once fufficient, not only to enforce convic- 
tion, but to excite approbation or difapproba- 
tion; unlefs men have, by their own perfonal 
folly, perverted the operation of the natural 
powers they brought into the world with them. 
The true reafon, why they are fo prone to prac- 



tife vice rather than virtue, is not bccaufe they 
do not difcern a difference between the one and 
the other, or becaufe they inwardly approve the 
former, and difapprove of the latter; but be- 
caufe they are enticed and drawn afide of their 
lulls. It is a real and certain truth, in regard 
even of wicked men, that they often do that, as 
induced thereto by their appetites and paflions, 
"which their reafon condemns. They may, by 
an habitual indulgence to fenfual gratifications, 
become, in time, the willing (laves of corrup- 
tion, perceiving little or no ftruggle between 
«* the law of their members, and the law of their 
mind.'* But this is not the ordinary ftate of 
finners. There are comparatively few, very few, 
who gratify their lulls, but with fome conteft 
between their animal appetites, and the remon- 
llrances of their inner man. They give into 
thefe and thofe gratifications, not becaufe they 
do not perceive them to be unreafonable, but 
becaufe their flefhly part gets the better of their 
mental. And to this it is owing, that they often 
jdo thofe things which are ftrongly difapproved 
of by their underftandings : nay, they frequently 
hate with their minds thofe adlions they are be- 
trayed into by the powerful influence of their 
animal inclinations. I doubt not, I here fpeak 
the real experience of moft wicked men. It is 
indeed the truth refpefling all, who have not by 
habitual folly awfully corrupted their natural 
powers. By thefe w^ are fitted, not only to 



perceive moral forms, and the difference be- 
tween them, but to feel the beauty and excel- 
lency of virtuous ones, and the uglinefs and 
deformity of thofe that are vicious. This capacity 
has not been deftroyed by the lapfe 5 and it is, 
perhaps, impoffible it fhould be totally deftroy- 
ed, but by the deftrudlion of the faculty itfelf by 
which we perceive at all. It is accordingly the truth 
of fad, that men, who, by their perfonal folly, have 
awfully vitiated their underltandings, and moral 
tafte too, are yet capable of feeing, and feeling, 
a beauty and glory in characters that are the re- 
verfe of their own. When placed before their 
view, in a ftrong point of light, they command 
their approbations they cannot but own their 
perception of that which is amiable and excellent 
in them; though, at the fame time, they are 
aftiamed they are not themfelves the fubjedls of 
this glory. 

Upon the whole of what has been offered, it 
appears, that our nature, as tranfmitced from 
Adam, is neither morally corrupt, or devoid of 
thofe faculties or principles, in the exercife of 
which we may, under the means, helps, and ad- 
vantages we are favoured with, become the fub- 
jedls of thofe qualities, which will prepare us for 
honour and immortality in God*s kingdom that is 
above: but ftill, it would be greatly befide the 
truth to fay, that it is as perfe5f as our firll father 
received it from the creating hand of God, and 
that we are as able, notwithftanding any difad- 
4 vantage 


vantage that has happened to us, by reafon of his 
lapfe, to obey our Maker, as he was in paradife. 
This, I am fenfible, is the opinion of fome j buc 
it appears to me a great miftake. And I cannon 
buc wonder, that thofe fhould fall into it, who 
have been much converfant in the apoflle Paul's 
writings. His Epiftlcs, in general, and his 
Epiltle to the Romans in particular, cannot, as 
I imagine, be understood upon any other fuppo- 
fition than this, that mankind, in confequence 
of the lapfe of the one man Adam, came into 
the world under a difadvantageous ftate of nature i 
infomuch that It is morally impoflible they 
fhould, upon the terms of law, law disjoined from 
grace, obtain either the juftification of lifcy or 
that meetnefs for heaven^ without which they can- 
not have admiflion into that blefled place : and 
this I fhall now endeavour to confirm with all 
the clearnefs and brevity I can. In order where- 
to, let the following things be carefully attended 

I. The apoftle Paul, in his Epiftle to the Ro- 
mans, has difl:in6lly and largely proved, not that 
mankind are totally corrupt in heart and life^ either 
by the pcfitive infufion of had principles^ or the 
withdrawrae-rd of good ones-, but that, when they 
are capable of moral aclion, they will fo far 
tranfgrefs the rule, as to be incapable of claim- 
ing juftification upon the foot of naked law. The 
proof he has exhibited of this, is contained in 



the three firft chapters of this Epiftle 5 where we 
fhali find a very melancholy account of the 
degenerate ilate the whole world of nnen, then 
confiiting of Jews and Gentiles, had funk into. 
It cannot, indeed, with any face of reafon, be 
fuppofed, that the charader he here draws of 
Jews and Gentiles juftly belonged, in all its 
lineannents, to either of thenFi individtially coafi- 
dered. There were, without all doubt, among 
both thcfe bodies of men, a number, who had 
*^ efcaped the pollutions" that were common in 
that day " through lull :'* nay, there is no reafoa 
to think but that fome, at lead, of the indivi- 
duals that conftituted thofe colletlive bodies^ v/erc 
really good men, in the gofpel- mitigated fenfe of 
the words; but Itill, ic was true of them all, 
that they had *' gone out of the way;" not 
equally, viewed as individuals, but in various 
degrees, fome in one, others in another, and the 
generality in an high degree; infomuch that 
the Apoftle might juftly defcribe them, in the 
grofs, as awfully corrupt. For this was the real 
truth of their charafler; though it might be faid 
of fome of them, in the individual fenfe, that 
they were finners only in the eye of law, as fepa- 
rated from the grace that is in Chrifl Jefus. 

And that it was really the At^^^n o^ the Apoftlc 
to give us to iinderlknd, that they were all fin- 
ners in the judgment of rigid law, individual^ 
fpeaking, and not in the ccllc^ive fenfe only, 
fnould feem evident beyond all reafonable dif- 
P pute* 


pute. How elfc could he fay, chap, iii. ver. 9. 
" We have before proved both Jews and Gen- 
tiles, that they are all under fin ?'* Hov/ elfe 
could he fay, in confequence of this proof, 
ver, 19. " that every mouth is (lopped, and 
ALL THE WORLD become guilty before God ?" 
How elfe could he introduce, from his thread 
of reafoning in thefe chapters, the univerfal con- 
clufion, ver. 20. " therefore, by the deeds of 
the law (hall no flesh be juftified in his fight?'* 
And, in fhort, how elfe could he go on and 
affirm, as in ver. 21. that ^' now," that is, under 
the gofpel, " the righteoufnefs of God," the 
righteoufnefs God will accept in the affair of 
jultification, " without law," upon another foot 
than that of mere law, ^' is manifefted ?" And 
again, ver. 24. " that we are juftified freely by 
his [God's] grace, through the redemption that 
is in Jefus 1'* And yet again, ver. 28. '^ therefore 
we conclude, that a man is juftified by faith 
without the deeds of the law ?" 

It fliould feem indubitably clear, that the 
Apoftle's aim was to teach, and eftablifb, juftifi- 
cation upon other than law terms , and that his 
reafoning, in the three firft chapters of this 
Epiftle, v/as principally directed to fettle this 
important point. But if, in confequence of his 
reafoning, it is not the truth of faft that both 
Jews and Genciies were finners in the account of 
jlricf law^ confidcrcd individually as well as 
COLLECTIVELY, there is no argumentative con- 


nedion between the point he had in view, and 
the reafoning he has ufed to defend and fupport 
it. Nay, if it were true of any onie individual, 
whether in the JewiQi or Gentile world, that he 
was not a finner, judging of his character by law, 
without grace, the Apoflle has left his dodrine 
of the impofTibillty of juflification upon the terms 
of law, without folid proof, at lead, in regard of 
that univerfality in which he has afTerted, and 
endeavoured to maintain it. He can, in a word, 
be looked upon as a confident conclufive writer 
upon no other fcheme than this, that Jews and 
Gentiles, individually as well as colleflively con- 
fidered, were finners in the eye of law, as having 
been the breakers of it in a lefs or greater de- 
gree, and therefore not within the poflibility of 
being juftified upon a trial by fo fevere a rule, 

I may pertinently add here, that the Apoftle'3 
reafoning, with refped to the unattainablenefs of 
juftification upon the terms of law, ought to be 
confidered as referring not only to mankind as 
exifting at the time when he wrote, but to man- 
kind in all after-ages to the end of time. For 
the confequence he deduces, from his method of 
reafoning, is in thofe llrong terms of univerfality, 
" therefore by the deeds of the law, there (hall 
NO FLESH be juftified in his fight." No flesh, 
that is, no fon of Adam> not one of the human 
race. Nor, unlefs he is to be underftood as 
taking into his meaning mankind univerfally^ 
have we, in thefe days, any concern with his 
P 2 dodlrine 


do6lrIneof"juftification without law:'* whereas, 
he moft certainly wrote with a view to after-ages, 
as well as that in which he lived -, defigning to 
affirm, and prove, that no man, in any age till 
the end of the world, could be juflified upon 
mere law-terms; becaule, in the eye of naked 
law, they could not but be found guilty before 
God. And the real truth is, his realbning upon 
this head is as applicable to nnankind univerfally 
in thefe days, as to mankind at the time when he 
wrote his Epiftle. For it is as true now, as it was 
then, and has all along been fo, that they have 
univerfally finned. Not that mankind, in all 
ages, have been finners juil in the fame degree 
as in the Apoftle's days ; but they now are, 
always have been, and always v/ill be, finners in 
fuch a fenfe, as that it is impoflible they fhould 
be juflified by the rule of ftrid law. 

And this account of his reafoning, it is ob- 
fervable, perfedly coincides with the reprefenta* 
tions that are, every where elfe, given of this 
matter in Scripture. Says the infpired David, 
Pfalm cxxx. 3. " If thou. Lord, fliouldeft mark 
iniquities, O Lord, who fhall fland ?" And 
again, Pfalm cxliii. 2. " Enter not into judgment 
with thy fervant; for in thy fight lliall no man 
living be jufiified.'* To the like purpofe is the 
reafoning in the book of Job, chap, ix. ver. 2, 3. 
*' How fhould man be jufl: with God ? If he con- 
tend w'ith him, he cannot anfwer him one of a 
thoufand." To the fame purpofe flill are thofe 



words of Solomon, Ecclef. vii. 20. *^ There is 
not a jufl: man upon earth that doth good, and 
finneth not." Agreeable whereto the apoftle 
John allures us, in his firft Epiftle, chap. i. ver. 8. 
that " if we fay we have no fin, we deceive our- 
felves, and the truth is not in us." 

2. The apoftle Paul, and indeed all the facred 
writers of the New Teftamenr, do as certainly- 
ground Td^XiS favMification., as their juflification, 
on the fcheme of grace that is opened in the 
gofpel; giving us to underftand, that no fon of 
Adam can, upon any other foot, attain to a '* free- 
dom from fin," any more than *^ condemnation." 
Their language is as full and exprefs upon the 
former, as the latter of thefe points. Hence 
the gofpel is called, verfe 2. of the 8th chapter 
of the Epiftle to the Romans, *' The law of the 
Spirit of life," which makes us *^ free from the 
law of fin and -death." Hence ^^ the righteouf- 
nefs of the law" is faid, ver. 4. to be '' fulfilled 
by thofe who walk after the Spirit," that is, 
as influenced and conduvfled by the Spirit of 
God, who is exhibited in the gofpel plan as the 
difpenfer of all gracious afliftances. Hence our 
" mortifying the deeds of the body" is fpoken 
of, ver. 13. as accomplifhed *' through the 
Spirit," that is, help miniftered from him. And 
hence our attainment to a ftate o^ moral re5litudey 
is every where attributed to thofe influences 
which are beyond the power of mere nature. 
P 3 Agreeably, 


Agreeably, we are not only faid to be " born 
again," to be " created again," to be " renewed 
in the inner man j" but to be ^' born of the 
Spirit," to be " created in Chrift Jefus," to be 
*' renewed by the Holy Ghoft -," the evident 
purport of which texts is, that, upon our be- 
coming good men, we have, as it were, a new 
moral exiftence, and have it from the grace and 
fpiritofGod, through Jefus Chrift; and not in 
confequence of the fole workings of mere nature. 
And this is equally true of all the fons of Adam, 
whether they are Jews or Gentiles. In fhort 
(for it would be needlefs to enlarge in fo plain a 
cafe), it is very obvioufly the great fcope, efpe- 
cially of the apoftle Paul's writings, to teach us, 
that our condition in the world is fuch, as that it 
is impoflible, by the force of mere nature, under 
a difpenfation of rigid law, to attain to a (late 
of fandlification, any more than juftification. 
He equally grafts both thefe attainments on the 
gofpel-plan ; nor can his writings be rnade 
intelligible and confiftent upon any other fup- 

3. I now add, in the laft place, that he has 
dillinclly and particularly acquainted us with the 
true rifey or occofional caufe of all this ; namely, 
our coming into exiftence through the firft man 
Adam, and, in confequence of his lapfe, under a 


are Icveral padages in the 5th chapter of his 



Epiftle to the Romans, which evidently carry in 
them this meaning: nor can they be underflood, 
as I imagine, in any other fenfe, fo as to make 
the Apoftle a coherent conclufive writer. The 
paffages I refer to are thofe, in general, con- 
tained in the 12th to the end of the 19th 
verfe; more efpecially thefe words, ** Wherefore, 
as by one man fin entered into the world, and 
death by fin 3 and fo death has pafied upon all 
men, for that all have finned •/' I would read 
the laft words " for that all have finned," 

[£<p u TTOcvTsg niMOcrrov'] V PON WHICH, IN CONSE- 
QUENCE OF WHICH, all have finned; or, in 
other words, are in fuch a ilate, under fuch cir- 
cumftances, as that it is morally impoflible 
but they fhould fo far fin, as to be incapable 
of being juftified by law without grace, or of 
attaining to a meetnefs for the future glory and 
immortality. That this is the meaning of the 
Apoftle in thefe words, or that, by ufing them, 
he had it in defign to reprefent " the one offence 
of the one man Adam,'* as that which gave rife, 
or occafion, to the dif advantageous circumftances 
under which his pofterity come into exiftence, 
in confequence of which they will turn out fin- 
ners, and unfit for heavenly happinefs, fiiould 
they be dealt v/ith according to law, without the 
intervening mixture of grace : I fay, that this is 
the idea the Apoftle intended to convey, we fiiall 
endeavour, in a fupplcmental diflertation, largely 
to fhew. And I chofe to offer what was pro[ier 
P 4 and 


and necefTary to be faid upon this head in a dif- 
tindl difTertation, that I might not engage the 
attention of the common reader to what he might 
think too tedious, as well as hard to be under- 

From the two foregoing particulars, and the 
lad, as illufcrated in the Supplement to this Work, 
it undeniably appears, that mankind come into 
the world, in confequence of Adam's lapfe, not 
only fubjefled lo deaths but to Juch a ftate of nature 
as renders it impoflible they fhould, upon a rule 
of law not mixed with grace, obtain the juftifi- 
cation of life, or that moral rectitude, .without 
■which they cannot be happy as moral and intel- 
ligent agents. And I have taken the more pains 
upon this head, becaufe the gofpel-fcheme, as 
fet forth in the wriiings of the apoftle Paul, 
takes rife from both these disadvantages, 
derived to us in confequence of the lapfe of our 
firfl father Adam ; and this, with evidence fo 
clear and full, that it is really unaccountable 
any, who have made it their bufinefs to ftudy 
his Epiftles, fhould declare to the world, that 
'^ mankind derive from Adam as good a nature as 
he had before his lapfe -," that is, a nature as 
well furnifhed to attain to a ftate of moral re^i- 
tude \ and that the " gofpel-fcheme no otherwife 
refers to the lapfe of Adam, than as it delivers 
his pofterity from the power of death, to which 
they had thereby been fubjedled." For, if this 
js a juft reprefentation of the cafe, the pofterity 



of Adam had no more need of the gofpel-dif- 
penfation to promote fandicy in them, than he 
had to promote it in him in his innocent ftate, 
however they might need it to deliver them from 
the power of the grave. For poflefling, by fup- 
pofition, a nature as well fitted for moral attain- 
ments as his, they might, without the gofpel, 
have been the a6lual fubjedls of them as well as 
lie : but, furely, the apoftle Paul has given us a 
quite different account of this matter. Can any, 
who have carefully fludied his Epiftles, his 
Epiftle to the Romans in fpecial, with the leafl 
hce of rcafon, pretend, that mankind, in his 
view of the cafe, (land in no more need of the 
gofpel than innocent Adam, in order to their 
attaining to a freedom from the power of their 
fielhly nature ? and that the gofpel relates to no 
other difadvantGgei arifing from his lapfe, than 
our certain liablenefs to fuffer death? It muft be 
owing to fome fcrange bias of mind, if it is not 
perceived that the apofrle Paul makes it impof- 
fible, that any fon of Adam fhould attain to a 
flate of moral re^iitude without the gofpel, or by 
the fole force of mind, or reafonj and that the 
gofpel-difpenfation was as truly erecled in relief 
of our weahiejs and imperfe^liony in ourfclves 
fimply confidered, with refpe6t to fandiificatlon^ 
as to deliver us from death which had got domi- 
nion over us. 

It has been faid by no icfs a writer rhnn Dr. 
Taylor, and by others from him, <^ that it cannot 



be colleded from any thing that was either faid 
or done by Adam before his fall, that his 
faculties were fuperior to what they were after- 
wards, or that they exceeded the faculties his 
pofterity have been endowed with fince." Should 
this be allowed, it will not follow (as has been 
largely proved already in anfwer to this objec- 
tion), but that he might, notwithftanding, have 
poflefled faculties that would have enabled him, 
by ufe and exercife, in due time to have at^ 
tained to vaftly more exalted degrees, both of 
knowledge and hoiinefs, than any of his pollerity 
are capable of in their prefent ftate. 

And it is with me pad all doubt, that this is 
the truth of the cafe. For if it be a real fafl, as 
v/e have in fome of the foregoing pages en- 
deavoured to prove it from the Scripture to be, 
that the earth has been changed from its priftine 
flate by the curse of God, it is highly congruous 
to reafon to fuppofe, that fome analogous change 
has been made alfo in the conftitutions of m.en, 
fitting them to live on it. And, without intro- 
ducing the immediate agency of God to efFc6t 
this change, it may eafily be accounted for. It 
is both natural and philofophical to think, that 
the hodily conlHtution of Adam might be gra- 
dually altered, upon his being turned out of 
paradife, into a world that had been curfed of 
God ; that is, fo changed as to be adapted to 
very dilferent purpofes from what it was be- 
fore. It could not indeed have been otherwife. 



Eftablifhed connexions made it neceflary. A 
change in external nature, rendering it lejs perfeSf^ 
would, in confequence of fettled laws uniformly- 
taking place, produce a like change in his bodily, 
machine, gradually reducing it to a ftate fimilar 
to itfelf. And if his bodily nature was rendered 
lefs perfetly the difadvantage would unavoidably 
have extended to his fouL For as his foul adled 
by the medium of his body, its exertions muft 
have been proportioned to its fitnefs as an inftru- 
mentto a6t by 3 which amounts, in truefenfe and 
reality of conflruclion, to the fame thing, pre- 
cifely, as if a change had been made in his foul it- 
felf, becaufe its faculties, with refpect to their 
ufe or exercife, is all we are concerned with in the 
prefent argument* And as the pofterity of Adam 
were to have exiftence as derived to them through 
him, and to hold it in a world that lies under the 
curfe it v/as doomed to for his offence, it could 
not be but it muft have been in the like changed 
and lefs perfedt ftate*. 


* I have fuppofed, in the above reafoning, that our firft fa-» 
ther might have been gradually changed, according to the efla- 
bliftied courfe of nature, into a ie/t perfect creature, in confe- 
querice of the cui<sE that was faftened on the earth by reafon of 
his lapfe; though it might alfo have been effei^ed in a moje di- 
re£l way, by the immediate agency of God, A change in his 
body, as his foul could ad only by that as its inftrument, was all 
that was necefiary. And why may it not be thought that the 
body of Adam, opou his lapfe, wat deprived, in a meafure, of that 
peffe(rtion^ as a macbine, which it had in his innocent ftate, and 
b.y the fame power ihat originally fornicd it? Poffibly the refur- 



And it was, perhaps, expedient, in point of 
wifdom, that, upon a change in material nature, 
there fhould be a change alfo in the human confti- 
tution. A diiTerent flate of the earth would re- 
quire a proportionably different one in the powers 
of its inhabitants. Such powers as we now have, 
might not be fuited to the (late of the world be- 
fore thelapfes as, on the other hand, fuch powers 
as Adam had in innocency might not be 
adapted to the condition the world has been in 

re£lion-bodies of the faints may be little, if any thing more, 
than their comparatively ** vile bodies'* reilored to the flate they 
might have been in, had it not been for the lapfe of the one 
man Adam. There may be reafon to think thus, if we attend 
to the manner of fpealcing fometimes ufed in the New Teftament 
writings: as in Ads, iii. 21, where ** the heavens are faiJ to re- 
ceive Chrirt until [uTToKaTotrac-Buq '\ the rellitution of all 
things;" that is, the times when they Ihall be reftored to the 
flate ihey were in before the lapfe, and the curfe that was confe- 
quent upon it: (o, in Match, xix. 28. where our Saviour, fpeak- 
ing of thofe who had followed him, fays, " In the regeneration 
[av T-/) TraAvyyEo-ta] they fhall fit upon twelve thrones.'* The re- 
generation here mentioned, doubtlef^ poin;s our view to the in- 
tended renovation of all things; their being, as it were, born 
again, fo born as to exifl in their former better flate. In like 
manner, the apollle Peter befpeaks the Chrillians he wrote to in 
fuch language as that, 2 Ephef. iii. 13. ** We, according to 
his promife, look for new heavens rnd a new e.irth, wherein 
d'ATtlleth righteoufners." This new heaven and new earth is 
the fame with that which the apoftle John faw in his vifions, Rev. 
:-:xi. 1 ; which feems to have been the earth dt-liveted, as he 
fpeaks, chap, xxii. 3. from the curfe, and rellored to its paradi- 
fdic {late: for it is reprefenced to have in it " a river of water 
of life,'* and *' the tree of life,' in allufion to the parddife of 
innocent Adam, Rev. xxii. i, 2. 



fince. It might be unfit, difproportionate, for 
Adam, or any of his poflerity, in fuch a world 
as the cutfe has made this to be, to be capable of 
acquiring either fo much knowledge, or holinefs, 
as might have been fuitable and proper for them 
to have acquired in the paradifaic world. The 
world, in its prefent (late, may be quite unfit for 
fuch improvements, either intelledtual or moral,^ 
as might have been highly proper in its original 

But, however this be, it is certainly the truth of 
faft, and known to be fo from univerfal expe- 
rience, that the poflerlty of Adam are in fuch 
circumftances, as that an unerring attachment to 
the rule of duty is not to be expelled; infomudl 
that it is notpolTible they fhould be juftified upbii 
the foot of rigid law, or that they fhould attain to 
acceptable red:iLude, but by the afTiftance of 
grace. And, if we may depend upon the in- 
fpired Paul, this ftate we are in took rife from the 
offence of the one man Adam, our firfl father. 

It will, probably, be faid by fome, as an infu- 
perable objedtion againft our deriving from 
Adam, in confequence of his lapfe, the Hate of 
nature we have defcribed, that it bears hard upon 
the attributes and moral government of God: 
and I acknowledge, with all freedom, if God had 
determined to deal with the pofterity of Adam in 
a way q{ ftri5l law only^ the objeflion, fo far as I 
am able to judge, could not pofTibly be anfwered. 
But, if they were placed from the beginning, and 



have all along fince been, under a difpenfatiort 
that is adjuiled to their nature and circumftances 
(which, as I fuppofe, is the real truth of the cafe, 
and has, in fome of the foregoing pages been 
proved to be fo), there is no difficulty in the mat- 
ters at lead, no greater difficulty than arifcs from 
the fubjedion we are under to forrow and death, in 
confequence of this fame original lapfe. Both 
thefe difadvantages ftand upon the fame foot. 
They are both juflified by like analogies, and 
may equally be accounted for upon the doflrine of 
general laws eftablifhed for the general good^ 

We have already feen that children are fubjefled 
to heavy fufFerings, yea, grievous anticipated 
deaths, through the default of their more imme- 
diate parents; which is a fadl perfeflly analogous 
to that fubje6lion we are all under to forrow and 
death, through the default of our common fa- 
ther, and may, in the fame way, be reconciled 
with the perfedions and righteous government of 

I now add, the fame analogy takes place, with 
refpedt to the difadvantage here obje6led to. It is 
daily feen in fad, and known by experience, 
that children derive from their next or more im- 
mediate progenitors, conftitutional turns, com- 
plexions, temperatures, diforders, or whatever 
elfe any pleafe to call them, which have a very 
great influence in the formation of their main 
charadler in life. In virtue of t\\t^c general laws y 
which the God of nature has eflabliflied, thefe 



confticutional turns (whether we can conceive of 
the modus of the thing, or account for it or not) 
are not only tranfmitted from parents to children, 
but, in confequence of them, children are fub- 
jedled to vaft difadvantagesy with rcfpecl both to 
mental and ;?2c?r^/attaintments. To this it is ow- 
ing, thatfome children are born incapable of ever 
coming to the proper exercife of reafon and un- 
derflanding; to the fame caufe it may be attri- 
buted, that others arrive to the exercife of reafon 
in a poor, low degree only; and to the fame bo- 
dily temperature ftill it may juftly be afcribed, 
at leaft in part, that many among thofe who pof- 
fefs the power of reafon, in a confiderable mea- 
fure, are fo exceeding apt to be betrayed into 
wrong and miftaken notions. And bodily conftitu- 
Hon has the like influence upon men's morals* It 
is not more certain that children derive from their 
parents bodily tendencies io-^d^rds thefe and thofe dif- 
tempers, than that they are born with confiitutional 
turns y prompting to thefe and thofe moral irre- 
gularities. The fanguine, forinftance, have that 
in their natural frame which tempts them to light- 
hefs, vanity, and wantonnefs; the choleric, to 
palTion and quick refentment; the phlegmatic, to 
idlenefs, floth, and careleflfnefs; and the melan- 
cholic, to fufpicion, jealoufy, and fournefs of 
temper. Thefe, and the like turns, may, pofli- 
bly, be fuperinduced in fome perfons upon na- 
ture; but, with refpedl to multitudes, they have 
their foundation in that animal temperature which 



has been tranfinicted to them from their pa- 

Not that any are to be blamed for their confti- 
tutional diforders, fimply as fuch, be they as they 
may. It is no more my fault that I was born 
with a temperature of blood and fpirits, in con- 
fequence of which I am apt to be betrayed into 
rafh anger, jealoiify, hatred, or flelhly indul- 
gences, than that I was born with a tendency in 
my nature to the gout, or gravel, or flone, or any 
other bodily diitemper, I may be faulty, when 
I come to the exercife of reafon, for not reftrain- 
ing and governing my confiitutional turns; but 
it is impoffible I flioukl be juflly chargeable with 
blame for having them in my nature, fimply as 
they are tranfmitted to me with my exigence. 
But ftill, thefe conftitutional diforders are great 
DISADVANTAGES, and may prove the occafion of, 
or temptation to, a very vicious and immoral cha- 
radter in after-life; which, God knows, is too 
often the cafe infadl: nay, thefe bodily tempera- 
tures may render our (late of trial far more diffi- 
cult and dangerous than it would othervvife have 
been; nay, further, in confequence of them, it 
may be impoffible, upon the foot of a difpenfa- 
tion not mixed with grace, but that we fhould be 

Now, if the eflabliflied laws of nature are fuch, 
as that we may come into cxiPcence, and be 
obliged to hold exigence, under the disadvan- 
tage of a ccnftitution less pep fect, and less 



FITTED for intelledual and moral attainments^ 
than would have been tranfmitted to us, had it 
not been for the fin and folly of our more immediate 
progenitors, why may not the like difadvantage be 
derived to us from our original and common father ? 
There is certainly an analogy between thefe cafes j 
and if the former can be accounted for, the latter 
may alfo, in the fame way. 

It will, perhaps, be faid here. Why need the 
Deity have confined himfelf to eftabliih general 
laws in the beftowment of exiftence? Why, to 
laws from whence have arofe fuch manifeft incon- 
veniences? Does it not argue a defed in God's 
wifdoin or benevolence, that mankind, by the fa- 
tality of fettled connections in nature, (hould be 
made liable to fufferings, and this, through even 
the follies and vices of thofe from whom they de* 
rive their being? 

In reply, it is eafy to obferve, that queftions of 
this kind do, in their final refult, prove nothing 
more than the ignorance of thofe who make them. 
It may be true, for aught any one can fay to the 
contrary, that man's coming into exiftence, and 
then holding exiftence, not by immediate, unre- 
lated exertions of Divine power, but conforma- 
bly to eftabliOied connections, in an uniform 
courfc, is the fitteft method for the accomplifh- 
ment of the beft and wifeft ends: and it may be 
as true, that the connexions which God has, in 
fad, eftablifhed, are as well adapted as they 
could have been to promote thofe fame ends. To 

Q^ be 


be fure, no man has a right to find fault, either 
with eftablifhed laws in general, or thofe in par- 
ticular which are eftabliflied, till he is able to 
make it appear that better ends could have been 
anfweredj that is, inconveniences lefTened, and 
the common good, upon the whole, augmented, 
if no connections were fettled, or others eftablilh- 
cd, in the room of thofe that now take place. 

Should it be again faid, upon fuppofition of a 
courfe of nature, and fuch an one as is aflually 
eftabliQied, might not interpositions be rea- 
fonably expedled, fuch interpofitions as would 
prevent the inconveniences that would otherwife 
happen? And does not the want of thefe interpo- 
fitions, and the fufferings of mankind thereupon, 
bear hard upon the benevolence of the Supreme 

The anfwer plainly is, the inconveniences 
which arife for the prefenr, from general laws 
llatedly permitted to take their courfe, may pof- 
fibly, under the condu6t of infinite^ wifdom, 
power, and goodnefs, be remedied in the final 
iffue of their operation. But however this be, 
who knows what would be the refult of thofe de- 
fired interpofitions, whether good or evil, upon 
the whole? It is true, if they would be followed 
with no other confequences than the prevention of 
the inconveniences they arc introduced for, they 
might reafonably be deHred and expeded^ but 
who can fay, there would be no other confe- 
quencesi yea, that there would not be bad ones ; 


it may be, fuch as might be more than a balance 
for the evil it is propofed they (hould remedy? 
The truth is, thefe aflced-for interpofitions would 
neceflarily introduce an effential change in the 
government of the world : and we may be 
ready to imagine, it would be a change for the bet- 
ter; but we know not that it would. And if we 
fhould affirm fuch a thing, it would be only by 
way of mere random conjedure. Befides, it 
ought to be remembered, the interpofitions here 
required are fuch as muft be effectual certainly 
to prevent mortil as well as natural evil. And will 
any undertake to make it evident, that moral evil 
could certainly and effedually have been pre- 
vented by interpofitions that would not, at the 
fame time, have brought on other confequences 
as truly fatal to the happinefsof moral agents? It 
is, perhaps, an indubitable truth, that no inter- 
pofitions but fuch over-bearing ones as are de- 
flrudive of moral agency itfelf, could have cer- 
tainly and abfolutely prevented moral evil. And 
the deftrudlion of moral agency would, I will 
venture to fay, have at once deftroyed the true 
and only foundation on which the greateft and 
moft valuable happinefs, that is communicable 
from the Deity, is built; as an intelligent reader 
may eafily perceive, by purfuing the thought in 
his own mind. 

Upon the whole, the method of giving exift- 
ence to the human fpecies, and fupporting them 
in itj not by immediate unrelated adls of power 

CL2 and 


and goodnefs, but in a fucceflive way, conform- 
ably to eftablifhed laws, not over-ruled by fre- 
quently repeated interpofitions, but permitted to 
take efFed in a regular uniform courfe, may be 
thewifeft and bed; and the Deity might know it 
to be fo, and for this reafon pitch upon it as the 
only way in which he would manifeft his benevo- 
lence in bringing mankind into being, and con- 
tinuing them in it. And we ought to reft fatif- 
fied with this method; to be fure, we ought not 
to find fault with it, till we find ourfelves able to 
devife one that is better. 

And if this method, for aught we can fay, may 
be the beft fitted to accomplifh the beft ends, it 
IS no objedion againft the wifdom or goodnefs of 
it, either that the whole human fpecies, in con- 
fequence of its operation, come into exiftence 
fubjedled to the difadvantages we have been fpeak- 
ing of, or that any of the individuals of this fpe- 
cies, in confequence of the fame eftablifhed laws, 
poffefs their beings under inconveniences peculiar to 
themfelves. For thefe may be unavoidable ef- 
fedls of that which is the beft adapted fcheme to 
accomplifh, upon the whole, the greateft good. 

It may be fubjoined here, as a juft corollary 
from what has been faid in the immediately fore- 
going paragraph, that the whole human fpecies, 
by means of the firft man Adam, or any of the 
individuals of this fpecies, by means of their 
next progenitors, may come into exiftence and 
poffefs it, under difadvantages it would be a reflec- 


tion on the Deity to fuppofe he (hould fubjefl 
them to, if they received their being immediately 
from his creating hands. The reafon of this is 
evidently founded on the preceding doflrine of 
general laws taking place conformably to an efta- 
blifhed fettled coiirfe: for, according to thefe 
laws, the abufe of moral agency is conneded with 
difadvantage, not only to the guilty individuals, 
but others alfo connefled with them, efpecially 
thofe who derive their exiftence from them; 
which connexion of difadvantage, with the abufe 
of moral agency, notwichftanding its thus confc- 
quentially afFeding others befides the guilty per- 
fons themfelves, may be the wifeft and beft expe- 
dient to accomplifli, upon the whole, the bell 
and wifeft ends. And if fo, this fubjedlion of 
others, befides the guilty perfons themfelves, to 
this confequential difadvantage, may confift with 
the higheft wifdom and benevolence in the Su- 
preme Being; while yet it might be inconfiftent 
with the honour of thofe perfections to fuppofe, 
that he fhould fubjedl thofe innocent beings to 
this difadvantage, without the intervention of 
abufed moral agency; as would be the cafe, if 
they were brought into exiftence by immediate un^ 
related Si6is of power. From whence it follows, 
that fhould it be the truth of fadV, as I doubt not 
but it really is, that the condition of mankind, 
by means of their firfl: father and after-progeni- 
tors, is fuch as they could not be placed in, if 
they received their exiftence by immediate ads 

0.3 o{ 


of creating power; I fay, fhould this be the 
truth of fact, it may, notwithftanding, be as 
true a one, that their fubjedion to this condition 
is perfediy reconcilable with the attributes of 
God, as it comes to pais in confequence of laws, 
which^ though eftablifhed for the accomplilhment 
of the befl ends, are yet unavoidably capable, in 
the nature of things, of being perverted in their 
operation, fo as to leave room for this inconvenience^ 
however great a one it may be efteemed. 

But, after all that has been faid, it may yet 
further be objeded. Why need Adam, upon his 
one offence, have been fubjeded to a doom that 
inade it impoiTible for him to attain to a happy 
immortality, without firft pafling through a va- 
riety of forrows, and even death itfelf? Could 
not the all-merciful Being have admitted him to 
pardon upon the terms of repentance, and a 
better care of obedience for the future; and in 
this way have prevented thefe fufferings? And 
would not fuch a method of condud have better 
comported with the conceptions we have of his 
infinite goodnefs ? Efpecially as the fentence pror 
nounced againft him would, in confequence of 
fettled convidion, involve his poRerity, through- 
out all generations, in a multiplicity of trials, and 
unavoidably prevent their ever obtaining eternal 
life without firfl undergoing death. 

This objedlion, it is obvious, would fet up a 
fcheme in remedy of the inconveniences of the 
lapfe, dijFerent from that which is propofed in 



tht revelations of God. But who can fay what 
would have been the refuk of this fcheme of 
man's wifdona? Will any pretend to affirm, that 
it would, in the final ifTue of its operation, have 
been more honorary to the Governor of the 
world, or more conducive to the gobd of man- 
kind, than that which is opened in the facred 
books of Scripture? Perhaps, the reafons of go- 
vernment might make it fit and proper, and 
therefore morally necirefiary, that the threatening 
which God denounced Ihould be executed. 
Would the wlfdom of the Supreme Legiflator 
have guarded his prohibition with a penalty it Vv'as 
not reafonable and juft he fhould inflift? And 
might not the inflidion of it, when incurred, be 
of fervice, fignal fervice, to the honour of the 
Divine authority, and to fecure the obedience 6f 
the creature in' all after-times? And it might be 
more for-man's good, for the *^ one man'* Jefus 
Chritl: to become " the wifdom and povver of 
God" unto our falvation, than that it fhould be left 
with ourfelves to work it outj efpecially after thd 
trial that had already been made with refpeCl: to 
the firft man> 

It is true, there is no arriving at immortality 
in the way propofed in the infpired writings, 
without pafling through forrows, trials, and even 
death itfelf; but thefe are all capable, upon the 
plan of God, through the grace there is in Jefus 
Chrift, of becoming advantageSy rather than dif- 
advantages, to us. For the greater our forrows, 

Q.4 the 


the more numerous and heavy our fufFerings, the 
'^ more exceeding will be our weight of glory" 
in the refurrection-world, if, by means of them, 
we are made more perfeft, in conformity to the 
example of him who is our pattern and Saviour: 
and they may, upon the gofpel-fcheme of mercy, 
be a fit and wife courfe of difcipline, in order to 
our being formed to a meeknefs for this glory and 


The Ihort of the matter is, God would not 
have permitted Adam, after his lapfe, to have 
continued in life long enough to have had pofle- 

' rity, if he had not devifed a fcheme for their re- 
lief under the forrows and trials they would 
come intp exiftence fubjeded to, and the fins 
likewife they might be led afide and enticed to 
commit. And this fcheme, we may depend, is a 
wife and good one, an infinitely better one than 
could have been contrived by man, or God 
would not have adopted it. It is, at prefent, in 
operation only 5 and as we do not fee its whole 
refult, we can judge of it but imperfedlly: but: 
when it has had its full effect, and is a finifhecj 
work, there will be no room left for difpute. All 
ipteliigent beings, in all worlds, who may be 
^lade acquainted with it, will be obliged to own 
and admire the riches both of the wifdom ^p4 
goodneft vyhich have been manifelted by it. 

[ 2J3 ] 


Of the difference betiveen the one man^ Adam^ 
in his innocent JiatCy and his pojierity dc-^ 
fcending from him in his lapfedjlate. 

NO one can read the foregoing pages, and 
not perceive, that there was a difference 
(important in fonne refpeds) between the one 
man, Adam, in innocency, and his pofterity as 
deriving exiftence from him, after his fall from 
God. It may not be improper to be particular 
and diftindl in pointing out this diff^erence, as it 
will enable us to take in, at once, a clear and 
full idea of the true (late of our firft father before 
his lapfe, and of ours in confequence of it, 

Adam was brought into being by an immediate 
exertion of creating power. He was, accord- 
ingly, as at firft made by God, a creature per-^ 
fedt in his kind; that is, he had nothing wrong 
in his nature, no faculties, either bodily or men- 
tal, but what were wifely and admirably well 
adapted to one of his rank in the fcale of exift- 
ence. He was not made naturally incapable of 
jTiifufing his implanted powers. Had this b^-en 



poflible, it did not feem expedient to the wifdom 
of God J for it is evident, from what has taken 
place in fa(fl:, that he might become a finful 
creature. But yet, his endowments were fuch 
as that he was every way fitted to anfwer the 
ends for which he was created. This, as we 
have feen, is the account the Scripture has given 
us of the matter. His bodily machine was cu- 
noufly fuited to be a fit inflrumcnt for his foul 
to ad by; and his foul was furnifhed with intel- 
leflual and moral faculties, rendering him capable 
of attaining to an aclual refemblance of the 
Deity in knowledge, holinefs, and happinefs ; 
and of growing perpetually in this likenefs to the 
higheft degrees attainable by a creature of his 
order in the creation. 

The pofterity of Adam come into exiflence, 
not immediately^ but by the intervention of an 
eftahlijhed courfe of nature. And to this it is 
owing, that exiflence is handed to them in a lefs 
ferfe5f ftate than that in which it was communi- 
cated to the one man, Adam. If the original 
progenitor had continued innocent, it is not cer- 
tain that his pofterity, from generation to gene-» 
ration, would have had his nature tranfmitted to 
them in the fame perfect degree in which he re- 
ceived, and would have poflefTed it. But how- 
ever it might be as to this, it is, fince the lapfe, 
a real fadl, and has all along been fo, that man- 
kind come into being lefs perfe^i in degree, than 
their firll father came out of the creating hands 



of God. The ejfential charaderiftics of human 
nature, it is true, have, in all ages from the 
beginning, been tranfmitted from parents to 
children i but not in the fame degree of perfec- 
tion. This has ever been various, and ever will 
be fo, in virtue of thofe intermediate fecondary 
caufes, with which the tranfmifllon of exiftence 
is univerfally connedtcd. And as thefe caufes 
have their operation fince the lapfe, it is im- 
pofTible but that exiftence" ftiould be communi- 
cated with comparative difadvantage. No fon of 
Adam comes into being but with lefs perfect 
Hon of nature than he might, and would have 
done, had it not been for the introduftion of fin 
into the world, and the numerous evils that are, 
by the eftablifliment of heaven, conneded with 
it : and as to multitudes, exiftence being com- 
municated to them through progenitors, who 
have funk their natures by their follies and vices, 
it is poflefled by them in lamentably fad circum- 
ftances; and the more fo, as their trial for the 
future ftate has hereby been rendered greatly 
difficult, and peculiarly hazardous. 

Another difference between Adam and his 
pofterity is this : he was created a man at 
oncci that is, with implanted powers, in fuch a 
ftate as that they were immediately fit for ufe and 
exercife. We are born infants, in regard of 
our minds as well as bodies. Whatever natural 
powers we are endowed with, they are at firft in 
^ weak, low, feeble Rates and it is in a leifurely 



gradual way, that they rife to a degree of matu- 
rity tolerably fitting them for exercife. The 
advantage here will readily be perceived to be 
much in favour of the one man Adam. It is 
true, his powers, at firft, were naked capacities as 
ours are 5 but then, they were the powers of a 
full-made man^ and not of a mere habe or infant ; 
for which reafon he might, with great eafe and 
quicknefs, have arrived at that perfection, efpe- 
cially in moral qualities, which he was made 
capable of attaining to, and in the attainment of 
which he would bell anfwer the ends of his crea- 
tion. It is true, likewife, he mufl, his powers 
being at firll nothing more than mere naked 
ones, have flood in need of foreign guidance 
and help in his prefent unexperienced and unim- 
proved flate. And he was accordingly favoured 
with it immediately from God. His Maker was 
his guide, tutor, and guardian > and had he not 
difobeyed his voice, by hearkening to his own 
counfel, he would have trained him up to a con- 
firmed flate in every thing that was valuable. 
In this, the advantage was unfpeakably on the 
fide of Adam. For we, his poflerity, inftead 
of having God for our immediate inflru6lor, arc 
placed under the tutelage of parents, or others, 
who may happen to have the care of us, while 
in our non-age. And as we are, from the day 
of our birth to the time of our growth to a flate 
of maturity, under the guidance of thofe who 
are too generally ignorant, not knowing how to 



cultivate our powers ; or negligent, taking little 
or no care upon this head ; or fo in love with 
vanity andfin, as to educate us in folly and vice: 
I fay, as we are for years too commonly the 
guardianfhip of thofe who are thus weak, or 
negligent, or grofsly wicked, it muft be obvious 
at firft fight, that we are under great dijadvantage 
as to the good culture of our minds, in com- 
parifon with our firft father. And, in truth, it 
is very much owing to this difadvantage, as our 
powers are in growth, that fo many contrad, in 
their early days, fuch habits of vice as denomi- 
nate them the flaves of corruption; though, if they 
continue fo in after-life, as, God knows, is too 
generally the cafe, to the utter ruin of thoufands 
and ten thoufands, the fault will be their own ; 
for deliverance from the bondage of fin, how- 
ever great it has been, or however early con- 
traded, is obtainable upon the foot of grace 
through Jefus Chrift. 

Further, Adam, upon his being brought into 
exiftence, was placed by his Creator in paradife, 
where he was in want of nothing to make him 
as happy as a creature of his rank could be, in a 
world, with reference to which it is faid, " God 
faw that it was good." The earth, without any 
toilfome labour of his, brought forth every thing 
that was " pleafant to the fight, and good for 
food:" nor was he fubjedted to the fufi'ering of 
evil in any kind. He might, from the make of 
his body> and the manner of its being fupported, 


238 D I S S E R T A T I O N IV. 

be naturally capable of undergoing pain in va* 
rious ways 5 but his Maker was his protection and 
guard ; infomuch that, while innocent, he would 
have preferved him from whatever might have 
occafioned the fenfation of anxiety and grief in 
any fhape or form. Such, in a word, were his 
circumftances, in regard of foul and body, and 
the world he was placed in, that he might, with- 
out interruption, have enjoyed life as perfecftly 
as it was fit he fhould do. We, his pofterity 
fince the lapfe, come into being in a world, the 
*' ground" of which has been " curfed," fo as 
that it is " in farrow," by the ** fweat of our 
faces," and the toil of our hands, we mufl " eat 
of its produce all our days :" befides which, 
we are " born to trouble," in innumerable in- 
ftances, " as the fparks fly upwards." It is on 
thofe accounts, that mankind " groan and travail 
in pain;" and they are herefrom fubje(5led to 
many and great difadvantages refpecling their 
attainment to a ftate of moral reditude. It is 
acknowledged, a vaft variety of thofe inconve- 
niencies, difficulties, forrows, and fufferings, 
we are fubjeded to, are not fo direBly owing to 
Adam, as to immediate predeceflbrs, and the 
wickednefs of the world we live in : but then, 
it ought to be remembered, whatever diforders 
there are in this lower creation, whether of a 
natural or moral kind, they took rife from the 
" one offence of the one man, Adam." This 
gave occafion for their introduflion into the 

world i 


world ; and by means of them we are under cir- 
cumdances greatly difadvantageous, in com- 
parifon with the flare Adam was in while in- 

Another difFerence between innocent Adam 
and his pofterity is this : he, though formed of 
corruptible materials, in confequence of which 
he was naturally a corruptible mortal creature, 
might, in virtue of " the tree of life,'* have 
lived for ever, had he not eat of " the tree of the 
knowledge of good and evil," concerning which 
his Maker had faid, " thou (halt not eat of it, 
for in the day thou eatefl thereof thou ihalt furely 
die." We, his pofterity, come into being not only 
corruptible mortal creatures by nature, as he was, 
but under fuch circumftances that death muft 
inevitably pafs upon us. That grace which 
would have made our firft father immortal, by 
keeping his corruptible from ever feeing cor- 
ruption, was, upon his one offence, withdrawn; 
in confequence of which, he not only died him- 
felf, but his poflerity alfo will univerfally and 
certainly undergo death. But then it mufl: be 
added here, they, as well as he, (hall be deli- 
vered from the power of death. In Chrifl " all 
fhall be made alive," and with as much cer- 
tainty as that " in Adam all die." And all 
come into exiftence under the pofTibility of 
*' reigning in lifej" completely happy life, and 
this for ever, through our Lord Jefus Chrifl, *' the 
gift of God," by whom is " eternal life." 



There is another difference ftill between inno- 
cent Adam and his pofterity: according to the 
rule of trial under which our firft father was 
placed in innocency, there was no room for 
repentance, in cafe of tranfgreffion ; but, upon 
one offence only, he would be fubjefled to the 
threatened penalty j as was the truth of fafir. 
For having tranfgreffed in the one article 
wherein he was tried, he was doomed to die. 
We, his pofterity, upon the foot of the new dif- 
penfation we are under, may, if we are wrought 
upon to repent, be admitted to mercy, though 
our offences fhould have been ever fo numerous. 
Herein, as the apoflle Paul fpeaks, the advan- 
tage by Chrifl, exceeds, goes beyond the damage 
by Adam. The condemnatory fentence was pro- 
nounced upon him, and confequentially takes place 
upon us, by reafon of" one adt of difobedience" 
only J but " the free gift is of many okfences 
unto juftification." However many, or how- 
ever heinoufly aggravated our fins have been, we 
may, in oppofition to them all, upon the gofpel- 
plan, obtain the pardoning mercy of God. In 
this refpeft, we are in better circumftances than 
Adam was, while under trial in his innocent 

Finally, The reward promifed to Adam, in 
cafe of perfevering obedience to his Maker, was 
PERPETUAL LIFE, though naturally a mortal crea- 
ture: only, he was to enjoy this life here on 
earth •, which he would have done with as much 



happinefs, as one of his rank in the creation was 
fitted for in'fuch a world as this. It has been 
often faid, he would in time have pafled through 
fome alteration as to the mode of his exigence, 
and been placed in fome other world, better 
adapted to his making ftill higher advances in 
blefiednefs. But this is mere conjedlure. The 
Bible fpeaks of no promifed life, or happinefs, 
beyond that he would have enjoyed in the earthly 
paradife. We^ his pofterity, notwithd^ndirig the 
lapfe, and any confequences of it, come into ex- 
iftence abfolutely fure, in virtue of the promife 
of God, of a refurredion to life after death; andj 
if we behave well in the ftate of trial we are 
placed under, we are in like manner fure, upon 
the word of the fame faithful and true witnefs, 
not only that our " corruptible fhall put on in- 
corruption, and our mortal put on immortality, 
but that we fhall exifl incorruptible immortal 
creatures in that kingdom that is above, where 
the infinite God himfelf dwells," in whofc 
prefence is fulnefs of joy, and at whofe righc 
hand are pleafures for evermore. In this re- 
fpedu alfo, Adam's poflerity are, perhaps, in 
better circumftances, than he would have been 
in had he continued innocent* 

It is eafy, upon what has been now offered, 
to anfwer juftly and properly the queftion fomd 
have propofed; namely, are the pofterity of 
Adam in worfe circumftances than he was placed 
under while in innocency ? Without all doubt, 

R they 

242 D I S S E R T A T I O N IV. 

they are many ways, both naturally and morally 
fpeakingj though it may, at the fame time, be 
truCi that they have the advantage of him in fome 
fpecial articles, as has been hinted, 

I (hall not think it a needlefs digreflion, if I 
add here with particularity, that our very exift- 
ence, as the pofterity of Adam, and all our hopes 
as to its being an happy one, are grounded on 
the mediatory interpofition of that Great Per- 
sonage, whofe birth into our world, with the 
merciful defign of it, was fignified to our firft 
father, when it was told him, " that the feed of 
the woman fhould bruife the ferpent's head." 
Had it not been for this " only begotten Son of 
God," who, *' in the fulnefs of time** was to be 
** born of a woman," and the difplay of grace 
through him, Adam would have been turned out 
of life INSTANTLY upon his eating of the tree 
concerning which God had faid to him, " thou 
fhalt not eat of it, for in the day thou eateft 
thereof thou fhalt furely diej" in which cafe he 
could have had no pofterity. The possibility 
therefore of their exiftence, through him as their 
father, was the efFed of the grace that came by 
Jcfus Chrift. It was owing to this, and to this 
folely, that a way was opened for the exiftence 
of thofe millions who have already defcended, 
and may yet defcend, from the one man, Adam, 
after it had been Ihut up by his lapfe, which ex- 
pofed him to immediate death : otherwife, their 
coming into being would have been an impofli- 


i) i S S E R T A T I O N IV. 243 

bility in nature. This is die firft indance of the 
operation of the plea of mercy through Chrift; 
and an admirably glorious one it is, as it laid 
the foundation for carrying into efFe6t the whole 
defign of God's goodnefs, with reference to the 
human kind. 

The fame grace through Chrift which con- 
tinued Adam in being after his lapfe, fo as that 
innumerable multitudes might defcend from him, 
provided ^Ifo for his and their deliverance frorri 
the death to which they v/ere fubjedled by the 
righteous judgment of God ; which deliverance 
was no way conne6led with any thing to be per- 
formed by them, but is an abfolute uncondi- 
tional grant of favour; infomuch, that it is as 
certain " all (hall be made alive in Chrift,'* be 
their character as it may, as that they " all die 
in Adam." This is another inflance of the 
riches of God's grace; and an highly important 
One it is. For had we come into exiftence fub- 
jedted to death, without this provifion for deli- 
verance from it, we could not have been put 
under trial for '' an eternal reign in happy life/* 
Such a trial, without fuch redemption, could no 
more have taken place, than upon the fuppofition 
of non-exiftence itfelf. And, let me add here, 
the connedlion of this deliverance from death, 
with our being under trial for an after eternal 
life of happinefs, is that which conftitutes it a 
manifeftation of the great goodnefs of God, be 
the event as it may. Should any of Adam's 
R 2 poRerity 


poflerlty behave, in the ftate of trial, as too 
many of them will, fo as that their deliverance 
from death will be followed with mifery, inftead 
of happinefs, in the refurreflion- world, it ought, 
notwithftanding, to be confidered as it is in 
itfelf, and in the defign and view of God, a rich 
gift of grace. For it is to be remembered, and 
fhould be heedfully minded, this, like mod of 
the other gifts of God, is capable of being mif- 
improved to difadvantage : but, furely, its mif- 
improvement, fo as to turn out an occafion 
of unhappinefs, is far from deftroying it as 
an inftance of divine goodnefs in its original 
beftowment; becaufe it proves the occafion of 
this unhappinefs, not from itfelf in its own pro- 
per nature, but from our fin and folly in per- 
verting its defign, and what it was fitted for, 
and tended to. If, inftead of being redeemed 
from death, that we may be crowned with im- 
mortality, glory, and honour, in God's ever- 
lafl:ing kingdom, we are redeemed from it fo as 
to be the more miferable for this very redemp- 
tion, the fault will be our own, we can caft the 
blame no where but upon our own guilty heads. 
We may, in this cafe, complain of our own 
folly J but cannot, with the leafi: face of reafon, 
pretend, that God has not been admirably good 
and gracious. 

It will further enhance our idea of the grcat- 
nefs of God's grace, in reftoring that poflibility 
of exiftence which had been forfeited by Adam's 
lapfe, and in granting us redemption from the 



death all die in Adam, fo as that we fhall live 
again after death, and may live in the enjoyment 
of perfedt blefTednefs for ever, if we confider how 
this was brought about : not by an adl of mere 
fovereignty, but through the obedience of Jefus, 
the only begotten Son of the Father, to death, 
the curfed death of the crofs. By thus fubmitting 
to die, he made atonement, not only for the 
original lapfe, but for all the fins this would be 
introduflory to, and might be the occafion of 
being committed by any of the fons of men, in 
any part or age of the world. We are accord- 
ingly told by the infpired Paul, that '* we have 
redemption through the blood of Chrifl, the for- 
givenefs of fins, according to the riches of God's 
grace." And he likewife exprefsly aflures us, 
that " eternal life is the gift of God through 
our Lord Jefus Chrifl:." Nor is there the leafl: 
inconfiflency in affirming, that we are ** re- 
deemed by grace," while, at the fame time, it 
is faid alfo, the communication of this grace is 
made through the merit, or worthiness, of 
Chrifl:, founded on the pcrfeflion of his obedi- 
ence, which eminently difcovered itfelf in his 
ready fubmiflion to die, that he might be " the 
propitiation for the fins of the world." For it 
Ihould always be remembered, the appointment 
of Chrifl: to be the Saviour of men, took rife 
from the grace of God. The Scripture is par- 
ticularly clear, and emphatically exprefs, upon 
this point. Says the apoftle John, i Epifl:. iv. 9, 

R 3 *' In 

2^6 D I S S E R T A T I O N IV. 

f' In this was manifefled the love of God towards 
us, becaufe that God fent his only begotten Son 
into the world, that we might live through 
him." To the like purpofe are^ thofe words 
of his, in the third chapter of his Go^p^', and 
the 1 6th verfe, " God fo loved the world, that 
he gave his only begotten Son, that whofocver 
believeth in him might not pcrifn, but have 
everlafting life." The words in both thcfe texts 
are very emphatlcal, c;nd do in the Arongefl 
manner allure us, that the gift of- Chrid to be 
the Saviour, took rife folely from the grace of 
God, And^ in truth, had not the Father of 
mercies been moved by the infinite benevolence 
of his ov;n nature, he never would have parted 
with his own Son to come into our world, in 
fadiion as a man, to accomplifli its falvation. 
The motive hereto was abfolutely from himfelf, 
his own effential, internal grace and pity. Some, 
perhaps, may be ready to think, Chrift's coming 
into the world to fuffer and die, was defigned to 
pacify God's wrath, and influence him to have 
mercy upon the finful fons of men. But this is 
to entertain quite v/rong conceptions of the mat- 
ter, and fuch as tend to reflecft great difhonour 
upon the infinitely good God ; who was as much 
inclined to mercy hfore as afler the fufferings of 
" Chrifii: nor was the the death of this Son of his 
love at all intended to move compaffion in him 
towards finners. His heart was full of mercy 
even frgm eternity; ^nd it was from this mercy 



of his, that Chrift was fent into the world, and 
the great defign he was fent upon was, to make 
way for the wife, jud, and holy exercife of that 
mercy, v/hich the good God was eflentially, in- 
finitely, and eternally inclined to exercife towards 
the finful fons of men. And, in this view of the 
matter, how amiable does the great and good 
God appear, as well as his Son Jefus Chrift ? 
How wonderful is the difplay of his grace ? If 
he had faved the pofterity of Adam by an ad of 
pleafure, in a mere fovereign way, this would 
have argued grace. But how much greater is 
the grace, how much more glorioufly does it 
fhine forth, in the method he has pitched upon 
for its conveyance, the miffion of his owri S.oii 
into our world, to become incarnate, and fufFer, 
and die, that way might be made for the wife 
and juft exercife of the divine mercy towards the 
human race! Herein is then the richeft difplay of 
God's grace. He could not have rhade a more 
illuftrious manifeftation of it. Here is love, to 
be admired and adored by all angels as well as 

Befides what has been hitherto faid, all fuit- 
able provifion is revealed, in the fcheme of grace 
through Chrift, for our being made «' the work- 
manfliip of God created again/' by being forme4 
to an adial likenefs to the Deity in thofe moral 
qualities;^ wherein confifts that meetness for the 
glories ol the refurredion-world, without which 
we cannot be crowned with them ; or, if wc 
R 4 could. 


could, it would rather enhance our mifery, than 
be the occafion of happincfs to us. This is 
fometimes efFefted, under the blefnng of God 
upon parental tuition, before the introduflion 
of thofe habits of fin, which denominate nnen 
^f the fervants of corruption." But more com- 
monly it is cONSEQiJENT upon their having been 
led afide, and enticed by their animal appe- 
tites, fo as to become " children of difobedi- 
ence,'* and as fuch " the children of wrath." 
The chief agent in this matter is the Spirit of 
Christ i and he is the producer of the " new- 
birth," the " new-creation," not by the infu- 
fion or formation of any new faculty, either in 
the fouls or bodies of men, but by fuperintend- 
ing, diredling, and animating moral means, fo 
as that the introdudlion of habitual, reigning 
corruption fhall be prevented, or afterwards era- 
dicated, as to its predominating influence, if it 
has taken place : nor are men paffive in this 
work, but co-operators with the good fpirit. 
Whatever the Holy Ghoft does, he efFeds by 
men themfelves in the ufe of their implanted 
powers, and the moral means God has iaftituted, 
and he accompanies with his efficacious bleflV 
ing. This is the Scripture account, and fo 
plainly as not to admit of any reafonablc dif- 

Need I now fay that the gofpel-fcheme of 
man's falvation is grafted on the original lapfe, 
and clofely connected with what tha^ paturally 



led to? Or, that we are infinitely beholden to the 
good God, and his Son Jcfus Chrift, for the 
profpeds we have upon the foot of redeeming 
grace? The rich grace of God through the 
WORTHINESS of Chrift, as manifefted in the 
gofpel-plan of man's falvation, notwithftanding 
the lapfe, and all its confequences, is often the 
delightful theme the facred penmen employ their 
thoughts upon. This raviftied the heart of the 
great Apoftle of the Gentiles. He is fcarce able 
to fpeak of it but in the higheft ftrains of ad- 
miring, adoring gratitude. 

And that is the hymn of praife, in which the 
redeemed fhould unite as one, in finging, upon 
^his great occafion, *' unto him that loved us, 
and waftied us from our fins in his own blood, 
and hath made us kings, and priefts unto God 
and his Father; to him be glory and dominion 
for ever and ever ! Amen." 

[ 2SO ] 


O N 

Romans, Chap. V. from the 12th to the 
20th Verfe, more efpecially thofe Words, 
*' For that all have Jinned^' and " by 
cue mail's d if obedience many ivere made 

THESE words, whether in themfelves hard 
to be underftood, or not, have greatly 
embarrafled interpreters, and been the occafion 
of very uncomfortable difputes in the Chriftian 
world \ fome having uncharitably contended for 
this i^x^^^y and others, with as little candor, for 
that. And after all -they have faid on either 
fide, to afcertain their true meaning, they ap- 
pear to me very evidently to have m/iffed it. 

Mr. Locke fays, " for that all have finned/* 
means, that all, by realbn of the lapfe of the one 
man, Adam, ^^ are become mortal." The me- 
tonymy he relies on, in fupport of this interpret- 
ation, I (hould not objed: to, however ap- 
parently harfh, provided a recurrence to it was 
neceflaryj which is far from being the truth 


Supplemental DisseIitation. 251 

of the cafe. His paraphrafe of the 12th verfe, 
in which thefc words are found, runs thus: 
ff Wherefore, to give you a ftate of the whole 
f^ matter from the beginning, you muft know, 
*^ that as by the ad of one man, Adam, the far 
" therof us all, fm entered into the world, and 
<^ death, which was the punifhment annexed to' 
" the offence of eating the forbidden fruit, en- 
^^ tered by that fin, for that all Adam's poflerity 
*^ thereby became mortal.'* It is obvious, at 
firft fight, that' the words, £(p w, tranflated in the 
text, and retained in this paraphrafe for that, 
are brought in as the reafon of what is affirmed 
in the foregoing part of the fentence. *•' Death^^ 
which was the punifliment annexed to the offence 
pf eating the forbidden fruit, entered by that 
fin, FOR THAT Adam's pofterity thereby became 
mortal.*' In this way of interpretation, f<p w is 
conftrued to fignify precifely the fame thing with 
eo quody for thaty becaufe. But I will venture to 
affirm, there is not another place, in the whole 
New Teftament, in which this is its fenfe : nor can 
it, as I imagine, be thus tranflated, according 
to any rule of grammar, unlefs it is taken ad- 
verbially; which is fo uncommon a ufe of this 
phrafe (if indeed it ever was fo ufed), that it 
ought not to be admitted, unlefs abfolute necef- 
fity fhould call for it. Befides, it is not true 
that Adam's pofterity, by his lapfe, became 
mortal. Adam himfelf, in innocence, was na- 
turally mortal. *^ The tree of life," or, in 


a^Z Supplemental Dissertation. 

other words, the fpecial favour of God, was that, 
and that only, which could have made his mor- 
tal immortal, had he not fell by tranfgrefTion. 
Adam's poflerity come into exiftence, as he was 
originally made, with corruptible mortal bodies. 
The lapfe had this efFe6l. The all-wife, righteous 
Governor of the world was pleafed to take occa- 
fion from it to (hut up all accefs to " the tree of 
life,'* and ordain, that that which was naturally 
mortal, as being of the duft, fhould aflually die, 
and return to duft. The reafon of death, there- 
fore, by means of the lapfe, was not that we were 
thereby made mortal, but that the grace is with- 
drawn, which would have continued us in being 
for ever, though we were naturally corruptible 
mortal creatures. Moreover, it may be worth 
obferving, thofe words, in this I2th verfe, " and 
fo death hath pafled upon all men," are capable 
of being underftood in two fenfes only ; either 
as meaning that all men, by means of Adam's 
offence, are fubjefled to death, or that death 
has adually, and in event, pafled upon them. 
And, in whichever of thefe fenfes we interpret 
the words, the following ones, " for that all 
have finned," cannot be explained, with the 
leaft propriety, as Mr. Locke explains them, 
<' for that all are become mortal." 

If by the words, " and fo death pafled upon 
all men," the Apoftle is fuppofed to mean, ac- 
cording to the flrft of thefe fenfes, that all men, 
by means of the one offence of Adam, are una- 


Supplemental Dissertation. 253 

voidably fubjeded to death ; what follows, in the 
next claufe, " for that all have finned," cannot be 
explained, " for that all thereby became mor- 
tal/* without making the Apoftle argue very 
weakly. His reafoning upon this interpreta- 
tion will run thus : All men, by means of the 
one offence of their firft father, are fubjeflcd to 
death, becaufe they were thereby brought under 
, this fubjedlion. For being fubjeded to death by 
this offence, and being thereby made mortal, 
mean precifely one and the fame thing. It would 
be a great difhonour to the Apoftle to make him 
reafon after this manner j and yet it is obvious, 
he miufl reafon thus upon the fenfe of the above 

Nor would the matter be much mended, (hould 
we take the other mentioned fenfe of the words, 
*' and fo death paffed upon all men ;" underfland- 
ing by them the adlual death of all men ; its 
having eventually paffed upon them ; which, 
perhaps, is their true fenfe, that being fpoken of 
as already brought into effedl, which certainly 
will be, a mode of diflion fometimes made ufe 
of in Scripture. The reafoning of the Apoftle 
upon this interpretation will fland thus : All men 
have died, by means of Adam's lapfe, becaufe 
they were thereby made mortal : which manner 
of arguing is not fo fatisfa6lory as might have 
been expefled from a philofopher, much more 
from an apoflle, when purpofely treating of 


2^4 Supplemental Dissertation. 

death in a moral view. And^ in this view of 
death, the ground, caufe, or reafon, of its having 
** pafled upon all men," is not becaufe they were 
mortal, but becaufe this was the will, appoint- 
ment, or conftitution of God, taking rife froni 
the lapfe of the one man, Adam. If, therefore, 
the Apoftle had it in defign, as Mr. Locke's inter- 
pretation fuppofes, to afTign, in the lad claufc 
of this 1 2th verfe, the reafon of the foregoing 
daufe, he would doubtlefs have given the true 
one, namely, the conftitution of God, grounded 
On the offence of Adam; for to this it is owing, 
and to this only, that ^^ death has pajGTed upon all 


Dr. Taylor interprets the words, " have 
finned," in the like harfh metonymical fenfe 
with Mr. Locke j but has taken care to guard 
againft his fault, by making the relative w to 
agree with Oai/osro?, the next fubftantive that goes 
before, and the prepofition fTrt to fignify " as 
far as." His paraphrafe of the verfe accordingly 
runs thus : *' By one man, Adam, fin entered 
*^ into the world. He began tranfgreffion, and 
*' through his own fin, death alfo entered into the 
*' world ; and so, in this way, through his own 
*^ own fin, death came upon all mankind as far. 


*^ through his one offence." Conformably to 
this interpretation, in his note upon £(p co ttxvtk; 
7)y.ocprovy he fays, *^ 1 ftrongly fufpe(5t, f^ u 
*' ftands here under a particular emphafis, as 

** denoting 

Supplemental Dissertation. ^^^ 

«* denoting the terminus ad quemy or the titmofl 
" length of the confequence of Adaai's fin* 
<« Unto which, as far even as which, all 
** [iijtAapToj/, or IV ccuapricc ftcTii/] are under fin, or ia 
" a ftate of fufFering. As if he had faid, fo far 
<^ have the confequences of Adann's fin extended, 
" and fpread their influence among nnankind, 
*' introducing not only a curfe upon the earth, 
" and forrow and toil upon its inhabitants, buc 
*^ even deaths tiniverfal deaths in every part, and 
" in all ages, of the world/' In fupporc of this 
criticifm, he particularly mentions two texts, in 
which he fuppofes this is the fenfe in which E(p ca 
is to be underflood. I have carefully attended 
to what he has offered upon thefe texts, but ain 
clearly and fully fatisfied, for reafons we may 
have occafion to mention by and bye, that this is 
not the meaning of f(p u in either of them: nor 
is this phrafe ever ufed in this fenfe, in the 
New Teftament writings. And fo far is it from 
ftanding under a particular emphafis, by being 
tranflated, ** as far even as which," that fuch a 
conilruftion exhibits a fenfe that is comparatively 
low and lean. For, according to this conftruc- 
tion, the whole meaning of the Apoftle in the 
important words, E(p w Travrf? Tiwaprov, is only this, 
that the utmost we fuffer, in confequence of the 
one offence of our original progenitor, is death; 
an obfervation, as I imagine, of little weight : 
to be fure, there is nothing ejiiphatically weighty 
in it, unlefs we ihould fuppofe, the Apoflle 
5 was 

256 Supplemental Dissertation. 

was apprehenfive his readers would take more 
into his meaning when he fpake of Adam's fin, 
as that by means of which " death had pafTed 
upon all men," than he intended, and fo added 
the words, zcp u Trai/rs? n(xccpTovy to prevent fuch a 
miftake, by declaring, that the confequence of 
this fin extended, at farthefl, no farther than 
death. But there is no perceivable ground, 
either in the words themfelves, or any thing they 
are related to, for fuch a fuppofition. The fhort 
of the matter is, the Apoftlc, having faid, in a 
very concife manner, that *^ fin entered into the 
world by one man, Adam," and death by this 
fin of his, and that death had accordingly 
«« pafled upon all men," adds thereupon thofe 
emphatically fignificant words, s^ u Travrf? nfAotprov ; 
which, if they mean no more than an affirma- 
tion, importing that this death is the utmost 
mankind fuffer in confequence of the lapfe of 
Adam, they convey a thought not fufficiently 
important to be crowded into a fhort fentence, 
fummarily containing an account of the greatefi 
difadvantages that ever befell the human race. 

Another fenfe ftill is given to the words^ '' for 
that all have finned,'* by the excellent Mr. 
Grove. Having cited Rom. v. 12. he goes on*, 
" The meaning of this place, which hath occa- 
'« fioned fo much angry difpute, feems to be no 
*' more than this, that " there is no man liveth, 

* Pofthumous Sefmons, vol, iii, page 403. 

«' and 

Supplemental Dissertation, 257 

»^ and fhall not fee death," becaufe *' there is no 
" man liveth and finneth not." So that, though 
*' it was by '' one man" that fin came into the 
" world, and death by fin, yet (hould not death 
" have adlually " pafTed upon all men," if all, 
'^ as they grew up to reafon, had not a6lually 
** finned; the Jewy " after the fimilitude of A- 
*' dam's tranfgrtfilon," againft a pofitive law; 
" the Geniile, not after the fame fimilitude, but 
" only againft the law of nature." Dr. Shuck- 
ford feems to have been in much the fame way of 
thinking upon this matter. Says he*, " The 
" Scriptures conclude " all men under fin," 
" Gal. iii. 21.; affirm, that there is " no man on 
" earth that finneth not," i Kings, viii. 46. 
*' This, therefore, being an allowed truth, that 
*' fin was in the world until the law; that from 
<^ Adam to Mofes, not Adam and Eve only, but 
** every individual of their defcendants, had ac^ 
" tml fins of their own ; the apoftle reafons, that 
*^ there can be no injuftice pretended, that £v tw 

** Ada/A 7rai/T£? a7roOi/7]a-xa(rai/, that *^ in Adam all 

*^ die," I Cor. xv. 22.; £^ w irocj/Tsg nixoipTov^ Rom. 
*^ V. 12.: not "in whom all finned," as our 
'^ marginal reference would corred our verfion ; 
*' for had this been intended, it would have been 

*^ iv w, like iv TW A^ccfjc iravrsg a7ro9i/>;(rH8o-iy. E^ cj 

*' is, ed quody in thaty or becaufe. " As by one 

<' man," fays the apoftle, «^ fin entered into the 

" world, and death by fin," even fo [xat out«?], 

» Preface to the Creation and Fall of Man, page 126. 

S in 


*«■ in like manner, i, e. as defervedly " death 
*« hath palled upon ail men." The foundation 
** of which reafoning is plain) for death being 
*' the wages of fin/' and all men having done 
*' the works of our firil parents, having actually 
** finned as well as they^ we not only receive in 
'* dying, but by our fins deferve the fame 

'^ wages. 

According to both thefe valuable writers, the 
reafon why Adam's pofterity die is, becaufe they 
have finned themfelves. Death pafTes upon them 
becaufe they have, in their own perfons, tranf- 
greflfed: whereas, it is as plain as it can well be 
made, not only from the Apoftle's words in this 
paragraph, but from the whole fcope of his rea- 
foning in it, that the rife of death is to be fetch- 
ed, not from the fins which men have commit- 
ted in their own perfons, but from the *^ one 
offence of the one man," Adam. The reader, 
if he pleafes, may turn back to the i52d, 153d, 
and 154th pages^ where he may fee, as I imagine, 
abundant proof of this. Now, it is impoffible 
to be true, that men's fubjecStion to death lliould 
be owing to their own perfond fins, if their fub- 
jedlion hereto is grounded on the lapfe of the 
one man, Adam. And that this is the true rife 
of that mortality we come into exifience una- 
voidably liable to, is fo often, and fo perempto- 
rily affirmed, and argued from, by the apoftle 
Paul, as a certain truth in this portion of Scrip- 
ture, that I cannot but wonder any^ who have 


Supplemental Dissertation. 259 

been at the pains attentively to read what he has 
wrote, fhould not perceive that they diredJy con- 
tradid him, while they afcribe it to the fins men 
have been aflually guilty of in their own perfons, 
that " death palTes upon them.'^ And it is mat- 
ter of flill greater wonder, that fuch fenfible and 
learned men as thofe, whofe words I have quoted, 
fhould not have had it in remembrance, that a 
very great part (fome think the greateft) of thofe 
who are born into the world, die out of it before 
they become capable of 772 or a I zd:ion. Surely, it 
will not be faid of any of thefe, that their dying 
was owing to any a^ual fins they had themfelves 
perfonally committed. It mufb be fome 
other caufe. And if we may believe the apoftle 
Paul, it was in confequence of a Divine confti- 
tution, occafioned by the *^ one offence" of their 
firft father. 

As to the common interpretation, which fays, 
we all finned in Adam, by being chargeable with 
his fault, and would reprefent the apoftle as in- 
tending to affirm, that his fin was as truly ours 
as his, and that we are juftly punifhable for it: 
this interpretation, I fay, cannot poflibly be true; 
and for this very good reafon ; becaufe it is a mo- 
ral inconfiftency to affirm that the fin of one mo- 
ral agent can be the fin of another, unlefs he has 
been, in one way or another, voluntarily acceflTary 
to it. Adam and hispoflerity being diftindl moral 
agents, his finning could not be their finning. 
This would imply falfehood, and a contradidion 

Si to 

26o Supplemental DissERTATiojii 

to the nature of things; as hereby they would be 
viewed and treated as one, who were not one. 

In anfwer to this, it has been faid by a late 
writer, and a truly great one*, " This objedion, 
«' however fpecious, is really founded on a falfe 
" hypothefis, and wrong notion of what we call 
" sameness, or oneness, among created things; 
«^ and the feeming force of the objedtion arifes 
" from ignorance, or inconfideration of the de- 
" gree, in which created identity^ or onenefsy with 
" part exiflence, in general depends on the fo- 
" vereign conftitution and law of the Supreme 
" Author, and Dilpofer of the univerfe." Hav- 
ing obferved this, he proceeds to a metaphyfical 
confideration o{ identity:, or onenefs^ chiefly with a 
view to fhow, that onenejs in different rerp€6ls and 
degrees, and to various purpofes, " depends on 
the fovereign conftitution of God,*' according to 
which it is " ordered, regulated, and limited, in 
every refpedtj'' fome things, *^ exifting in differ- 
ent times and places, being treated by their Crea- 
tor as one in cne refpe^^ and others in another -y 
fome united for this communication, others for 
that; but all, according to the fovereign pleafure 
of the Fountain of all being and operation." 
Upon which he fays -f, '^ I am perfuaded no folid 
*^ reafon can be given, why God,^who conftitutes 
*' all other created union^ or onenefsy according to 
" his pleafure, and for what purpofes, communi- 

* Ml. Edwards, on " Original Sin," page 357. 
f Ibid, page 347. 

'^ cations. 

Supplemental Dissertation. 261 

*^ cations, and effcfls, he pleafes, may not efta- 
" blifh a conftitution, whereby the natural pofte- 
*^ rity of Adam^ proceeding from him, much as 
'^ the buds and branches from the (lock or root of 
*^ a tree, Ihould be treated as one with him for 
^^ the derivation, either of righteoufnefs and 
^' communion in reward, or of the lofs of righte- 
** oufnefs and confequent corruption and guilt." 
From this conftitution of God, making and treat- 
ing Adam and his pofterity as one, he^ fuppofes, 
'' it will follow, that both guilt and expofednefs 
^^ to punifiiment, and alfo depravity of heart, 
•' came upon Adam's pofterity juft as they came 
** upon him, as much as if he and they had all 
*' co-exifted, like a tree with many branches; 
*^ allowing only for the difference necelTarily re- 
*^ fulting from the place Adam flood in, as the 
*' head or root of the whole, and being firft and 
" moft immediately dealt with, and mqft imme- 
^^ diately ading and fufFering." To prevent 
being mifunderftood, or to explain himfelf more 
fully, he fays, in a marginal note, page 329. 
" My meaning may be illuftrated thus : let us 
<^ fuppofe that Adam and all his pofterity had co- 
*« exifted, and that his pofterity had been, 
<« through a law of nuture eftabliftied by the 
" Creator, united to hinfi, fomething as the 
*« branches of a tree are united to the root, or 
" the members of the body to the head, fo as to 
f* conftitute, as it were, one complex person, or 

* Mr. Edwards, on " Oriainal Sin," page 327. 

s 3 " Q^% 

iSi Supplemental Dissertation. 

*' ONE MORAL WHOLE; fo that, by the law of 
'^ union, there fliould have been a communion and 
*^ co-mftsnce in a6ls and affedtions, all jointly par- 
*^ ticipatingj and all concurring, as one whole, 
<^ in the difpofition and adion of the head; as 
<« we fee in the body natural, the whole body is 
" afTe<5ted as the head is affected, and the whole 
^« body concurs when the head ads. Now, in 
" this cafe, the hearts of all the branches of nnan- 
" kind, by tlie conftitution of nature, and law of 
^« union, would have been afi^edled juft as the 
^« heart of Adam, their comaion root, was af- 
" fedled. When the heart of the root, by a full 
«^ difpofition, committed the firfl: fin, the hearts 
" of all the branches would have concurred; and 
" when the heart of the root, as a punifliment of 
<< the fin committed, was forfaken of God, in like 
" manner would it have fared with all the 
«f branches; and when the heart of the root, in 
*« coniequcnce of this, was confirmed in perma" 
" nent depravity, the cafe w-.juld have been the 
*' fame with all the branches/' In another note, 
page 347. he has thefe words: *' I appeal to fuch 
" as are not wont to content themfelves with 
*' judging by a fuperficial appearance and view of 
" things, but are habituated to examine things 
*' ftridly and clofely, whether, on fuppoficion 
" that all mankind had co-exiftcd in the manner 
*' mentioned before, any good reafon can be 
" given, why their Creator might not, if he had 
*^ pleafed, have ellablilhed fuch an umon between 
6 • <c Adam 

Supplemental Dissertatiok. 263 

" Adam and the reft of mankind, as was in that • 
" cafe fuppofed? Particularly, if it had been the 
" cafe, that Adam's pofterity had adually, ac- 
" cording to a law of nature fomehow grown 
«^ out of him, and yet remained contiguous and 
*« literally united to him, as the branches to a 
^' tree, or the members of the body to the head •, 
*' and had all, before the fall, exifled together at 
*< the fame time^ though in different places^ as the 
" head and members are in different places: in 
" this cafe, who can determine that the Author 
^' of nature might not, if it had pleafed him, 
f« have eftablidied fuch an imon between the 
" root and branches of this complex being, as 
^* that all fhould conftitute one moral whole; fo 
'f that, by the law of union, there fhould be a 
*' communion in each moral alteration, and 
" that the heart of every branch Ihould, at the 
^' fame moment, participate with the heart of the 
" root, be conformed to it, and concurring with 
** it in all its afFedlions and ads, and fo jointly 
" partaking in its ftate, as a part of the fame thing? 
" Why might not God, if he had pleafed, have 
'^ fixed fuch a kind of union as this, an union of 
*' the various parts of fuch a moral whole, as well 
" as many other unions which he has actually 
" fixed, according to his fovereign pleafure? 
«' And if he might, by his fovereign conflitution, 
" have eflablifhed fuch an union of the various 
*' branches of mankind, when exifling in differ- 
"l fnt ^lacfSy I do not fee why be might not alfo 

S 4 " dq 

26^ Supplemental Dissertation, 

" do the fame, though they exifl: in different times* 
*' I know not why luccefllon, or diverfity of time, 
" (hould make any fuch conilituted union more 
" unreafbnable than diverjity of place.'' 

1 have tranfcribed thus largely what has been 
faid by the above-mentioned writer, in juflifica- 
tion of our having finned when Adam fell by 
tranfgrefTion, left it fhould be imagined I had 
rarelefsly, or wilfully, mifreprefented his mean- 
ing, fo as to make him fpeak abfurdly, in order 
to refiefl an odium on him. It is to me exceed- 
ing ftrange, that a gentleman of his underftand- 
ing fhould fo impofe on himfelf, as, in fober fe- 
rioufnefs, to offer that for the truth of God which 
is not only a direcl contradiflion to the Scripture, 
but to that moral dijcernment mankind are naturally 
endowed with. 

Nothing is more evident, than that the apoftle 
Paul, in the paragraph containing the words, from 
whence it is pretended, that we finned when 
Adam finned, is fo far from confidering Adam and 
Jiis pofterity as one, one complex person, that 
he particularly and abundantly diftinguifhes be- 
tween him and them-, reprefenting him as dis- 
tinct from them as they are from one another. 
In the lath verfe, the *' one man,'* Adam, by 
whoje fin death, it is faid, entered into the world, 
is directly pointed out as a -perfon dijiin£l from the 
*^ all men,*' upon whom death, by this fin of his^ 
has palled. In the 15th verfe, where the " offence 
of one," and " death to many," is fpoken of, the 


Supplemental Dissertation. 2^5 

one and the many are reprefented as feverally dijlin5i 
from each other. In the 17th verfc, the «^ one 
man," through whofe offence " death reigned/' 
is viewed as a diJlinB perfon from the " they which 
receive the gift of righteoufnefs by Jefus Chrift." 
In the 1 8th verfe, the ^' one/' by whom the of- 
fence was committed, is as certainly diftinguifhed 
from the " all men" upon whom ** judgment 
came to condemnation." And in the 19th verfe, 
the " one man" is again diftinguiihed from the 
*' many," who, " by his difobedience, were 
rnade finners." How, or in what fenfe they 
were made finners, we fhall explain afterwards. 
But, in whatever fenfe this is underftood, the 
*' one man," and " the many," that is, Adam 
and his pofterity, are not confidered as one and 
the fame perfon^ but as fo many dijiin^ individuals 
of the fame fpecies. 

Befides, it could not be the fin of " one man,'* 
namely, Adam, that brought death into the world, 
if his eating the forbidden fruit was the fin of all 
bis pofterity together with himfelf, made one com- 
plex PERSON by a Divine conftitution. Upon 
this fuppofition, it was for their own fin, noc 
the fin of Adam, merely or only, that ^' judc^e- 
ment came upon them to condemnation." And 
yet the apoftle Paul, as has been more than once 
obferved, has been particular in his care to afcer- 
tain it as a truth, that '' the many," the " all 
men," are fubje^led to death, not for any fin of 
^heir own, but in confequence of the fin of " one 


266 Supplemental Dissertation. 

man,'* fpecified and diHinguifhed by his nanac, 

It may be further faid, as worthy of fpecial no- 
tice, that the Apoftle, in the 14th verfe, exprefsly 
affirms, that '' death reigned from Adam to Mo- 
fcsy even over them that had not finned after the 
fimilitude of Adam's tranfgrefiion.'* This can- 
not be true, if they, in common with the reft of 
mankind, v/ere so one with Adam, as that the fin 
committed by him W2s not the fin of d^firigle indi- 
vidual, but of the wbok human race^ conftituted 
by God one and the fame complex perfon. In this 
view of the cafe, all the pofterity of Adam, as 
truly as he him.felf, muft fin by the fame will, by 
the fame aft, and in the fame perfon, again ft the 
fame law. And, certainly, if they finned thus, 
they finned " after the fimilitude of Adam's tranf- 
grefiion." For diffimilitude there cannot be in fin 
committed by the fame ad:, and the fame will of 
one and the fame perfon^ againft the fame law. 
But the apoftle peremptorily declares, that "death 
did not reign over" Adam^s pofterity for any fin 
they had committed that bore a " likenefs to A- 
dam*s tranfgrefTion.'* And it would, indeed, be 
the moft myfterious, unaccountable thing in all 
nature, if Adam's pofterity were fo one person 
with him, as that when he finned in taking and 
eating of the forbidden fruit, it was as true that 
they finned alfo, and by that very a6l of his: for, 
upon this fuppofttion, they muft have been adlu- 
ally finners from the beginning of the world, that 


Supplemental Dissertatiok. *i.()'^ 

is, myriads of them, thoufands of years before 
they had a being. A more fliocking abfurdity 
never entered into the heart of man! This leads 
to fay — 

That the notion of a divine eftablifhment, 
making Adam and his pofterity one complex perfon 
for the communication of fin and guilt, is as con-v 
trary to the principle of moral difcernment, com- 
mon to all, as it is to Scripture. We feel its 
falfehood, whenever we attend to the perception 
of our minds. No man is more certain, that he 
is not one perfon with his next father, or with the 
reft of the human fpecies, than that he is not one 
perfon with the original progenitor. We are, each 
one, confcious toourfelves that we exift perfonally 
diftintSt from Adam, as well. as the other indivi- 
duals of the fame kindj that ic was i'^^ not ^^, 
thai eat of the forbidden tree; and that it neither 
was, or poflibly could be, an a6l of oursy in a 
moral fenfe, any more than in a. natural one, fo 
as that it could be chargeable on us as our fault. 
Who, among the fons of Adam, ever felt the 
reproaches of an accufing condemning confcience 
for the fin of their firft father, ages before they 
v/ere born? It may be peremptorily pronounced, 
no one of them ever did. They may have been 
affefted with grief, when in contemplation of the 
*' one offence" of the firft man; efpecially, as it 
has been the occafion of the introduction of fo 
much evil into the world: but they are fo formed 
t>y the God of nature, as not to be capable of 


268 Supplemental Dissertation. 

condemning themfelves, and feeling the uneafl^ 
nefs of guilty remorfe, for what they are not con- 
fcious to thennfelves they were any ways accefifary 
to. And nothing is more certain, than that we 
have no confcioufnefs of having had any hand, in 
any fhape or form whatever, in the fin of the one 
man, Adam. And this, could nothing elfe be 
faid upon the matter, is a demonftration that no 
eftablifhment was ever made by God, in virtue 
of which Adam and his pofterity were fo confti- 
tuted one complex perforiy as that they all volunta- 
rily concurred in the one acl of difobedience, 
-which brought death into the world. Can it be 
fuppofed, without the grofTeft abfurdity, that the 
all'wife God fhould make an identical complex one of 
Adam and his pofterity, fo as that they Ihould be 
looked upon as having finned when he eat of the 
forbidden fruit, and, at the fame tim^e, leave them 
^11, throughout all generations, without the lead 
confcioufnefs that they had thus finned j efpecially 
as this fin of theirs, as is pretended, flood conned- 
cd with the tremendous wrath of the Almighty 
throughout eternity? Such a conflitution, while, 
at the fame time, no member of this complex one^ 
but Adam only, could be confcious of fin, or 
guilt arifing from it, is a downright inconfifl- 
cncy with the whole fyflem of moral government; 
a mere rnetaphyfical invention, contrived for no 
other purpofe than to ferve a previoufiy imbibed 
hypothefis. This writer allows, that '* confciouf- 
nefs in intelligent beings is efTcntial to perfonaj 


Supplemental Dissertation; 269 

identity/' How then could Adam and his pof- 
terity be the fame complex one^ to the purpofes of 
fin and wrath, without ihe fame principle of con- 
fcioufnefs? In order to their being one, his con- 
fcioufnefs nnuft have been ibeirs, and theirs his; 
or, in other words, one and the fame confciouf- 
nefs mud have flowed from the bead to the urn led 
memhersy as a common principle, in which they 
were all partakers. Is this now the truth of 
fadt? So far from it, that Adam's pofterity are as 
diftind exiflences from him, as they are from one 
another, or from any of the inferior creatures. 
He is no otherwife the head, or root, of his pofte- 
rity, the " tree out of which they grow as fo 
many branches/' than as God was pleafed, through 
him, according to an eflabliflied order in nature 
to give them a being in the world. When brought 
into being, they are fo many individual perfons, 
identical ones, of the fame kind. Inftead of be- 
ing branches that *^ every moment participate 
with the heart of the root'' [Adam], and that are 
*^ conformed to if, and concurring with it in all 
its affedtions and adts," they are themfelves fo many 
eflentially diftinfl trees, the branches of which 
grow out of their own root, with which, not with 
the root Adam, they have vital communion. 
Their volitions, afFedlions, and all the a6ls and 
exercifes of their powers, as moral agents, are 
from themfehesy not from Ada?n^ in virtue of any 
conftituted union whatever. To what purpofe is 
it then to " appeal to thole who are habituated to 
' " examine 

270 Supplemental Dissertatiojt. 

*^ examine things clofely, whether God mighc 
** not have nnade Adam's pofterity grow out of 
** him, and be contiguous, and literally united 
" to him, fo as that they fhould exift together at 
" the fame time, and, by an efcablilhed union, 
*« conftitute one moral whole?^^ Whether God 
might, or might not, have made this the eflablilh- 
ment of nature, is neither proof or illuftration in 
the prefent cafe: for it is a fiubborn facft, t,hat 
Adam's pofterity. are miade elTentially otherwife. 
God conftituted him, as has been faid- the fecon- 
dary caufe, through which he would communicate 
exiftence to the human kind 5 but, being brought 
into exiftence, they are no more one with Adam, 
or united to him, or dependent on him, for any of 
their exertions, natural or moral, than they are 
united to, and dependent on, their immediate pre- 
deceiTors, nor are they at all more faulty for any 
fin of hisy than for any of the fins of any of their 

The plain truth is, a Divine conftitution, mak- 
ing Adam and his pofterity one conrpkx ferfon^ one 
moral ivhcky fo as that there ftiouid be a *' com- 
«^ munion and co-exiftence in afls and affedlions, 
*' all participa,ting, and all concurring as one 
*^ whole in the difpofition and actions of the head, 
*^ as we fee in the body natural, the whole body 
" is affeded as the head is affeded, and the 
*' whok body concurs when the head adls/' 
Such a conftitution, I fay, with refpecft to fuch 
moral beings as men are, is not only an abfurdity 


Supplemental Dissertation. 271 

in fpcculation, but an impoflibility in nature. No 
eflablifhnfientby God ornnan, can make the voli- 
tions and ads of any moral agent what they are 
nor. And we are as fure as we can be of any 
thing, that the volition and a6l of Adam, with 
reference to the forbidden tree> was not the voli- 
tion and acl of any of his poflerity, No^ pre- 
tended law of union could make them foj and 
for this decifive reafon, becaufe Adam and his 
poflerity are fever ally diftind moral agents, hav- 
ing a diftind power of willing, chufing, and adh- 
ing. Had Adam's poflerity been made, by a law 
of nature, to " grow out of him as their root, 
and been contiguous to him as branches of the 
fame tree," having, at the fame time, one com- 
mon confcioufnefs, and power of volition and 
acling, fo as that when he willed and a6ted, it 
would have been the confcious will and atfl of the 
branches together with him, there mJght be 
fome pretence for their being one complex perfon, 
one moral whole : but as the eftabliflimen: of God, 
in confequence of which Adam is the father of 
his poilericy, is efTentially diifcrent, they being, 
notwithflanding their derivation from him, fo 
many diftincl perfons, or identical ones, furnifh- 
ed with powers of their owuy for the ufe of which 
only they are accountable. I fay, this being the 
cftablilliment of nature, the confidering Adam 
and his pofterity fo one^ as that tliey all adtcd, 
when he took and eat of the forbidden fruit, is as 
wild a conceit of a vain imagination as was ever 


272 Supplemental Dissertatio^t. 

publifhed to the world. It cannot be paralleled 
with any thing, unlefs^he dodtrine of tranfuhftan- 
tiation. There is, in truth, a confpicuous ana- 
logy between them. Catholics firft interpret the 
words, " this is my body — this is my blood/* in 
the ftri(5l literal fenfe. When they are told, this 
fenfe is a contradiction to our fight, touch, and 
tafte, 'and that it is impofTible to be true, as the 
body of Chrifl: cannot be in heaven and upon 
earth, and in ten thoufand different places too, at 
one and the fame time: I fay, when they are thus 
urged, their only refuge is, the almighty power 
of God. To this^ therefore, they profanely re- 
cur; endeavouring, by all the methods of meta- 
phyfical fubtiity, to make that true, by the help 
gf this power, which is certainly falfe, and not 
within the reach of Omnipotence to make other- 
wife. In like manner, our author, and thofe who 
have adopted his fentiments, firft fuppofe it lite- 
rally and ftridly true, that the " one offence of 
Adam was the offence of all," that *' all by his 
one act of difobedience became, properly fpeak- 
ing, finners," as well as he. When they are 
minded, that Adam and his pofterity are diftindt 
moral agents, and that the fin of one moral 
agent cannot be the fin of another, recourfe is had 
to the Deity for a law of union j in confequence of 
which it is pretended, that Adam and his natural 
defcendants were so conftituted one person, as 
that it is a real truth, that they tranfgreffed, as 
well as he, when he eat of the forbidden fruit; 


Supplemental Dissertation. 273 

which is a diredl contradi(5tion to the perceptions 
of all mankind, arrived to a Capacity of nnoral 
difcernmentj for they all intuitively perceive, that 
they are feverally identical ones, as diftinft 
in their exiftence, confcioufnefs, and all their 
powers of ading, from him, as they are from one 
another: on which account it is impofTible, his 
will, or a(ft> in the firfl: tranfgreflion, (hould be 
theirs. No power, however great, no will, how- 
ever arbitrary, could make this, true j becaufe it 
is, in nature, a falfehood, and as certainly known 
to be fo, as that two and two are not equal to five^ 
and cannot be made to be fo. 

Having rejeded thefe interpretations, it may 
reafonably be expelled 1 fhould fubftitute another 
jn their room, which can better be fupported. And 
this I (hall do, by exhibiting a verfion of the 12th 
verfe, which, though not hit upon before that I 
know of, may yet truly convey the fentiment in- 
tended 5 as it is eafy and natural, and offers a 
fenfe that is intelligible, important, and, perhaps, 
the beft conneded of any with the Apoflle's whole 

I would read the verfe (dropping its compara- 
tive form, at prefent, that I may be the more 
readily underftood) after the following manner — 
•* By one man fin entered into the world, and 
death by fins and thus, in this way, death pafTed 
upon all men, upon which, they have all finned/' 
As if the Apoftle had faid. By the one man, Adam, 
fin entered into the world, and death by his fin, in 

T eating 

274 Supplemental Dissertation* 

eating of the forbidden fruit; and thus, by this onfi 
offence of this one man, death hath come upon 
all men, upon which, in consequence of 
WHICH, they have all finned. 

I take it to have been the Apoftle's deiign, in 
this text, to lead our thoughts up to our firfi: 
father, Adam, as the original fource, or occafional 
caufey o{ fin as well as death : only, it ihould be 
particularly minded, as Jn and death are eflen- 
tially different, the one being a natural^ the 
other a moral evil, it is not pofTible he fhould be 
the fource of them both in the fame way. The 
fentence of God, taking rife from Adam's lapfe, 
may well enough be confidered as that^ by means 
of which all men are fubjefled to death : but they 
cannot, in virtue of any judicial fentence, either 
of God, or man, be made finners, without their 
their own wicked choice ; becaufe the idea of fin 
is, in the nature of things, abfolutely founded on 
this. It is therefore obfervable, the Apoftle does 
not fay, " and thus," " in this way," that is, by 
the judicial fentence of God, occafioned by the 
lapfe of the one man, Adam, death and sin 
«< have pafTed upon all men j" but death, in this 
way, " hath paffed upon all men," upon which, 
IN consequence of WHICH, they have finned 
themfelvess as they muft do, if they are finners 
at all. 

And it is eafy to fee, how all become finners 
upon, or IN consequence of, their fubjedlion 
to deathy through the lapfe of their firfl father, 


Supplemental Dissertation, 275 

Adam. For, by this death, which fhould be 
critically minded, we are to underftand, not 
death confidered fimply, of nakedly, in itfelfj 
but as connected, in the appointment of God, 
with that vanity, toil, forrow, and fufFering, by 
which it is occafioned, and with which it is ac- 
companied, invariably, in alefs or greater degree, 
with refped to all mankind. This is the apoflle 
Paul's notion of the death which comes upon 
the pofterity of Adam univerfally, through his 
lapfe. He ufes this word in a complex fenfe, 
conformably to the idea Mofes has given us of 
it, in his account of the original fentence, doom- 
ing man to death j meaning by it, the ap- 
pendages of death, as well as death itfelf; in- 
cluding in his idea of it, not merely the deflruc- 
tion of life, but the whole dif advantage under 
which we hold life fince the fall, which has 
brought a curfe upon the earth, and fubjedled us 
to a ftate of labour and forrow, which, at lafl, 
will end in the diflblution of our prefent mortal 
frame. Now, the excitements to fin, or the 
temptations by which we are overcome to commit 
it, do principally follow upon our being thus, 
in this fenfe, fubjedled to death ; that is, they 
are, in a great meafure, owing to the fituation 
and circumftances of our mortal bodies ^ in this 
ftatc of toil and forrow, which ends in the de- 
flru6lion of life. From hence arife thofe fears, 
with refpedt to the lofs of life, which are fo great 
an occafion of fin, in all its various kinds : from 
T 2 hence 

2^6 Supplemental DissERTATfoN', 

hence arlfe that impatience and difcontent, that 
anxious folicitude and perplexing conCerh, which 
render life far more burdenfome, than It is dep- 
rived to us from the fimple conftiriition of God t 
From hence arife the earneft purfuits of men, in 
every unlawful way, in all the various methods of 
unrighteoufnefs, to avoid the evil things, and 
come to the poflefTion of the good things of this 
prefcnt ftate : and from hence, in a word, arife 
thofe numerous lufts which " war againft the 
law of our mind,'* or reafon, and " bring us in 
captivity to the law of fin." It is the real truth 
of fa6t (however we underftand the words of the 
Apoflle we are upon), that, in consequence of 
of our ^rt^tnx. fuffering mortal ftate^ we are often 
induced tq^do that, which, upon fober reflection, 
we cannot but condemn ourfelves for; infomuch 
that we mufl all own, from what we know of 
ourfelves, that it is impoffible fuch mcrtal creatures 
as we are, living in a world fo furrounded with 
temptation, fhould ever attain to fuch moral re^i* 
tude as will avail to our juftification, unlefs 
placed under a more favourable difpenfation than 
that of rigid law. And this, I could obferve 
here, is the very thought the apoftle Paul en- 
larges upon, in the 7th chapter of this Epiftle 
to the Romans; where he has it profefTedly in his 
view to (how, that fan^iijication, or, what means 
the fame thing, moral re^itude, .is, upon the foot 
of mere law, utterly unattainable. And why? 
Becaufe, in consequence of the operation 'of 


Supplemental Dissertation, 277 

appetites and inclinations, feated in our mortal 
bodies, we certainly Ihall, without the interpo- 
fition of grace, or gofpel, be unhappily urged 
on to do that which our mifidttlh us us we ought 
not to do ; and the doing of which will denomi- 
nate us the captives of fin, the fervants of cor- 
ruption. The illuftration and proof of this is 
what he labours in this 7th chapter; in order 
whereunto he gives us to underftand, that there 
are two different principles of aflion in men : 
One he calls " the flelh," verfe 18 ; " the law 
in our members,'* or the propenfities of our 
bodies, which are, as it were, a rule or law to 
us, verfe 23. The other, he charaderifes " the 
inward man," verfe 22 ; ^' the law of the mind,'* 
verfe 23 ;" " the mind," verfe 25, meaning that 
faculty, or power, of the foul or fpirir, in vir- 
tue of which we are denominated rational intel- 
ligent beings. Thefe two principles, refiding 
in the human conftitution, he reprefents as oppo- 
fius^ contefting with, and counteradling each 
other. And it is obfervablc, he particularly 
afcribes it to " the flefh," by means of the over- 
bearing influence of its propenfities in this our 
prefent mortal flate ; that, on the one hand, we 
do that which our w;Wj difapprove; and, on the 
other, that we do not that which we would do, 
though convinced, from our own perceptions, that 
it is what we ought to do. Says he, verfe 15. 
^^ that which I do, I alloNV not; for what I 
would, that do I not ; but what I hate, that do I." 
T 3 As 

278 Supplemental Dissertation.' 

As if he had faid, that which 1 do, in contra- 
di6lion to the law of God, as influenced thereto 
by tbeflejlj^ I allow not with my mind: for what, 
with my inind^ I would do in conformity to the 
law, that, through the prevalence of the ftejhy I 
do not 5 but what, with my mind^ I even abomi- 
nate, that I do as urged tp it by my flejh. To 
the like purpofe are thofe words in the 18th and 
I9thverfes, " To will is prefent with me; but 
how to perform that which is good, I find not. 
For the good that I would, I do not 5 but the 
evil which I would not, that I dof' i. e. the 
power of willing to do that which is good is 
adually in me; but to perform that which is 
good, though I (hould fo will, I find no ftrength, 
fo great is the influence of my flelhly propenfi- 
ties. For I perceive it, from my experience, to 
be the truth of fa6t, that the good which, with 
my mind, I would do, I do not ; but the evil, 
which, with my mind, I would not, that I do, 
through the prevalence of my animal mortal 
part. It follows, in the 2ifl: verfe, " I find 
then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is 
prefent with mej'* i. e. I experience therefore, 
as by a law fettled, and ruling in me, that when 
I would, with my mind, do that which is good, 
evil is prefent with me, by fleflily appetites, to 
hinder and refl:rain me. And again, verfe 23d, 
♦' I fee another law in my members, warring 
againfl: the law of my mind, and bringing me 
into captivity to the law of fin, which is in my 

members i** 


members i" that is, I am fadly fcnfiblc of a prin- 
ciple of adlion, a law, as it were, in my bodily 
members, which oppofes the law of my mind* 
my reafon, my power of moral difcernment, and 
makes me a captive to that law of fin which is in 
my members ; or, in other words, to my flefhly 
or bodily appetites. In confideration of this 
prevalence of appetite in his mortal part, over 
his reafon and judgment, he bitterly exclaims, as 
in the 24th verfe, *< O wretched man that I am, 
who fhall deliver me from the body of this 
death 1" As if he had faid, from a fenfe of the 
miferable condition I am in, 1 cannot but cry 
out, O wretched man that I am, who (hall 
deliver me from this mortal body*, which, 


• I have rendered ix rav a-u[A,uToq tou Qanotrovrovrov, from this 
MORTAL body; and, as I judge, with flritt propriety, by 
giving Qavxrov, a fubRantive of the genitive cafe, the force of 
an adjedive. An obfervable inftance of this mode of diction 
we have in Col. i. 22. where the Apoftle fpeaks of '* our re- 
conciliation to God," as efFefted, tt ru au[Aciri rr^q actfKoi; avrov 
hoe, Tov^avttrov; " by his [ChrilVs] flellily body, through death ;" 
that is, by the death of his body, which was made of flefli. 
The fame thought precifely is intended to be conveyed here, as 
when it is faid, by another Apollle, i Pet. iv. i. ** having 
fufFered for us in the flelh ;" that is, in that fejhfy body God 
had prepared for them. But inftances of this ufe of a fubftan- 
tive of the genitive cafe are fo common, efpecially in the New 
Teftament, that it would be an affront to thofe acquainted 
with the language in which it was wrote, to point them out. 
And its ufe in this fenfe here may the raihcr be admitted, 
bccaufe the conftruftion formed upon it admirably falls in 
with the main drift of the foregoing and following difcourfe ; 
and it is, perhaps, the only one that does fo. For, mind well, 
T 4 the 

28o Supplemental Dissertation* 

by its appetites and propenfities, thus makes 
me the flave of fin! He adds, for his own, 


the charaQer the Apoftlehad been defcribing, was that of a man 
fo captinjated by the appetites of his jleJJjy or mortal hody^ as 
that, inftead of doing what his mind, or reafon, approved, he 
was urged on to that which his mind, or reafon, even *' hated." 
There was a (Irife, or conteii, between the propenfities of his 
Jlejhly body, and his mind, or fpirit, in which his mind was 
jnaftered, and he '* led into captivity" by his bodily appetites. 
And now he cries out, " O wretched man that I am, who 
ihall deliver me?" From what? *♦ From this mortal 
body;'* that is, from the enticing power, which thii body, 
fubje^ed x.o z frail mortal Juffering condition, has over me by 
means of its propenfities and appetites. To this fenfe the 
whole preceding argument points our view. For it was the 
influence, which his mortal body, by its appetites, had over 
him, that was ihc ground, or rea/on, of the •' wretchednefs'* 
he fo pafiionately complains of. This mortal body, therefore, 
as to this fvvay over him, is the thing he enquires how he (hall 
be delivered from ? Nor will there be any reafonable room left 
for doubt upon the matter, if we attend to the answer to this 
enquiry, in the words that next follow, •* I thank God," this 
deliverance is to be had, ** through our Lord Jefus Chrift.*' For 
what is the idea the Apoftle gives us of this deliverance? We 
may readily colle£l it from the next chapter, where he has 
particularly, and clearly, explained himfelf upon it. Thus he 
affures us, verfe 2. that ** the law of the fpirit of life, in Jefus 
Chrift, hath made me free [me who am in Chrill] from the law 
of fin and death '* And again, he acquaints us, verfes 3, 4. 
that ** what the law could not do, in that it was weak through 
[the propenfities of the] fle(h, [hath yet been done after the 
following manner] God, by fending his Son in the likenefs of 
finful flefh, and [by fending him] for fin {^Tt^^^ tw? a^aprja?, 
about, or concerning the affair of fm, that he might deliver 
from it] hath condemned fin [deftroyed, put it to death with 
refped to its influence as feated] in the flelh ; [and to this end] 
** that the righteoufnefs of the law might [through the fan^lify- 
Jng Spirit] be fulfilled by us, who walk, not after the flefli, 


Supplemental Dissertation. 281 

and the confolation of others, the admiring, 
adoring words, in the 25th vcrfe, " I thank God, 


but after the fpirit." Thefe words, thus conftrued according 
to their true intent, exhibit an eafy and intelligible meaning 
and fuch an one as, at once, explains, and anfwers, the above 
inquiry after deliverance. The ApolUe having thus direfted 
our view to the true and only fource of deliverance from the 
dominion, which our mortal bodies, by their appetites, 
have over us, makes the obfervable remark in the loth verfe, 
** If Chrift be in you, the body is dead [h a/Aajjrav] with 
reference to fm ; but the Spirit is life [oio. ^iKuiont^v] with 
reference to righteoufnefs." As if he had faid, if Chrift be in 
you by his fandifying Spirit, the 6o£(y is dead, as to its power 
or dominion with refpedl to fin ; fm (hall not reign in you by 
means of your mortal bodies. But, on the other hand, the 
mind, or fpirit, is life as to righteoufnefs; it is now alive and 
vigorous in employing your bodily members as inftruments unto 
holinefs. He purfues the fame thought in the next verfe; 
** But if the fpirit of him that raifed up Jefus from the dead dwell 
in you, he that raifed up Chrift from the dead ihall quicken 
alfo your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.** 
The meaning is, if the Spirit of God dwelleth in you, God, 
through his fandlifying Spirit thus dwelling in you, will 
quicken, make alive, your mortal bodies^ by making them 
a<5live and vigorous to the purpofes of holinefs, inftead of fin. 
This interpretation, which I have borrowed from Mr. Locke, 
Pr. Doddridge (in he.) is pleafed to call " his unnatural 
glofs ;" at which I cannot but wonder, as this metaphorical way 
of fpeaking concerning fandiification, or deliverance from the 
power of fleftily or bodily luft, is fo common with this Apoftle. 
H6nce he fpeaks cf men, while under the rule and fway of 
their mortal bodies^ as ** dead in trefpafTes and fm," Eph. ii. i. 
Col. ii. 13. And when delivered from this dominion of their 
mortal bodies, through the influence of their propenfities, by 
** the Spirit that raifed up Chrift from the dead," he fpeaks of 
them as ** quickened,*' or ** raifed together with Chrift,** 
Eph. ii. 5, 6. Col. ii. 13. He ufesthc like figure of fpeech 


j^82 Supplemental Dissertation. 

through Jefus our Lord;" that is, I acknow- 
ledge it with gratitude to God, that this deliver- 

jn Rom. vi. 6. " He that is dead is freed from fin ;'* that is, 
he, in whom the power of flefhiy propenfities is deftroyed, is 
delivered from the dominion of fin. So, in the 13th verfe, 
*• yield yourfelves up to God as thofe who are ali've from the 
dead" that is, as thofe who, having a principle of fpiritual 
life, in oppofition to the influence o^ fejhly luji^ are no longer 
fpiritually dead. And in the nth verfe, ** reckon ye your- 
felves to be dead indeed to fin, but alive to God, through 
Jefus Chrill our Lord ;" that is, to be no longer under the 
power of flefhiy propeniiiies, but to be fpiritually alive, as 
having the oppofite power of living to God through Jefus 
Chrift. I would yet fay, the Apoltle, all along in this 7th 
chapter, and in all the above mentioned texts, muft obvioufly 
cocfiders our mortal bodies, by means of their appetites, 
as the true source, or root of the dominion which fin has 
over us. And he elfcwhere difcovers this to have been his 
thought upon the matter. Hence he exhorts, Rom. vi. 12, 
*' Let not fin reign in your, mortal bodies;** that is, by 
means of your appetites and propenfities. Hence that lan- 
guage of his, in the 6th verfe, *' that the body of sin [to cru(ji» 
rix; cciAdoiiai} might be deilroyed, that henceforth we fhould not 
ferve fin ;" that is, that the power which fin has by means of 
the BODY, may be fo denrcyed as that we may no longer be the 
fervanis of fin. Hence he fpeaks, Col. ii. 1 1. of our •* putting 
oflF the body of the fin of the flefli [rov crw^caTo? rui» a^Acc^nuv 
rni ffuffcoi] by the circumcifion of Chrift;'* that is, the fins 
we are influenced to commit by means of our fleshly 
BODIES, with their propenfities. Hence he declares, Rora. viii. 
13. that we ftiall *' die if we walk after the flefh ;" but that we 
ftiall ** live, if, through the (jpirit, we mortify the deeds of the 
body;'* that is, the deeds done under the influence of animal 
propenfities.— But enough, it may be, too much, has been faid 
to make it evident, that, by " the body of this death,'* the 
Apoftle means, " this mortal body," as to its ir.fii?ence, by its 
appetites, to lead us into fin. If this note is duly weighed, 


Supplemental Dissertation! 283 

an ce may be obtained, upon the plan of grace, 
through Jefus Chrift, the conftituted Lord of 

I have no need to concern myfelf here with 
the difpute, whether the Apoftle fpeaks in his 
€wn per/on^ or in an ajfumed one j or, upon either 
fuppofition, whether he fpeaks as a regenerate^ or 
unregenerate man. For Ihould it be even allowed, 
according to the more commonly received expo- 
fition, that he fpeaks in the charadler, not of an 
unregenerate^ but regenerate perfon, which, as I 
apprehend, is far from the truth, his arguing 
will Hill prove, that the propenfities, feated in 
our mortal bodies, are the occasional cause of 
our being urged on ; or that in conseq^jence of 
WHICH we are urged on to " do the evil we 
would not." This is true of unregenerate as 
well as regenerate men. Whether we are faints or 
finners, we are " tempted ;" and are tempted fo 
as to be " drawn away," it is of " our own 
lufts 5" that is, the enticing influence of animal 
propenfities, in this our mortal flate. 

It may be worthy of fpecial notice, the ac- 
count we have given of the Apoftle's difcourfe, 

and compared with the phrafe, i(p u 'Kccm<; r,yi.'ufiav, in the 
5th chapter and I2lh verfe, it will, perhaps, appear in a 
ftrong point of light, that I have given the very idea the 
Apoftle intended to convey by it. And I have been thus loner, 
3nd, I fear, tedious upon it, principaiiy with a view to bring 
light, and afford rtrength, to the ccnftiuaion I judged there 
was abundant reafon to put upon ir. 


in^ this 7th chapter, not only agrees with the 
whole foregoing Epiftle, but exhibits an em- 
phatically ftriking illuflration of his meaning in 
thofe words, f<?> w frcx.vnq r^fjcocproif. He had before 
proved, that we could not be jujiified upon the 
foot of law, becaufe we were all ftnners : he here, 
proves, that our being Jinners cannot be pre- 
vented by mere law, which is as infufficient for 
Jan5iificationy as for juftification. He had before 
carried our thoughts up to Adam, the firfl father 
of men, declaring that we were *^ fmners" in 
confequence of his lapfe: he here explains this 
matter, acquainting us how Aye became ** fin- 
ners" in confequence of his lapfe, not by having 
" finned when he finned," but by having finned 
in our own proper perfons, and as influenced fo 
to do by the propenfities of a fleftily mortal na- 
ture, which will certainly make us the flaves of 
fin, unlefs reflrained, and governed, by the 
gr^ce that is communicated from God, and from 
him alone, through Jefus the Saviour. 

It is therefore evident, from the Apoftle's own 
explanation of the way, or manner, in which we 
are influenced to become finners, that we have 
truly interpreted his words, by conftruing them, 
^^ and fo death pafTed upon all menj upon which, 
IN coNSEQjjENCE OF WHICH, all have finned 
themfelves." And it is, as I im.agine, with great 
accuracy and propriety, the Apoftle has ex- 
preffcd himfelf in thefe words. For he carries 
7 our 

Supplemental Dissertation. 285 

Our vkw to Adam as the true original fource of 
SIN, as well as death -, but gives us to under- 
^f!^nd, at the fame time, that he is t\it fource of 
thofe different evils in a quite different way ; of 
DEATH, by the fentence of God, taking rife from 
the*' one off'ence" of this "one manj" and of 
SIN, IN CONSEQUENCE OF THIS, by means of the 
temptations of our mortal state, which with- 
out grace, or gofpel, will certainly entice and 
draw us afide. 

It cannot juftly be objeded againfl this inter- 
pretation, that it gives the prepofition eTrt a 
wrong fenfe. For it is the very fenfe in which it 
is moft commonly ufed throughout the New 
Teftament, when conftrued with a dative cafe^ 
as it is here. The following texts may be thought 
an ample illuftration of this. 

Matthew, vii. 28. Jnd it came to pafsy when 
Jefus had ended thefefayingSy the people were aftonifljed 
\jiri T7I ^i^xx^ auTou] at his do5lrine. The particle 
ati well anfwers the meaning of €7rt in this text. 
But then it is plain to the moll: vulgar under- 
ftanding,, that it fignifies exadlly the fame thing 
with upo7u or i^ confequence of. 

Matt. xiii. 4. ^nd in them [f7r awroK, in con- 
fequence of the temper they difcovered] is ful- 
filled the prophecy of EfaiaSy which faith ^ &c. 

Matt. xix. 9. And I fay unto you^ whofoever fhall 
put away his wife^ except it he for fornication^ [f* 
^n iTFi TTQ^viiQij unlefs it be on account of, in 


aSS Supplemental Dissbjitatio». 

confequence of, fornication] andjhall marry anS^ 
ther, committeth adultery. 

Mark, ifi. 5. J^nd when he had looked round 
ahut on them with anger y being grieved for the hard- 
nefs of their hearts [^nn m Tropooa-ti m; Kotp^iocg aurws, 
on account of, in confequence of, the hardncfs of 
their hearts] he faith unto the man. 

Mark, x, 22. And he was fad at that faying^ 
\iin Tw Aoyw, in confequence of what he had faid] 
and went away grieved^ for he had great foffef'- 

Mark, xii. 17. And Jefus anfwering, faid unto 
themy render unto Cafar the things that are Cafar'Sy 
and unto God the things that are God's : and they 
marvelled \jir «utw] at him ; that is, on account of 
what he had juft faid. His having fo fpoken 
was the occafion of this wonder. 

Inftead of taking up any more room in citing 

the words of texts, I ihall refer the reader to the 

following ones, among others he may find in the 

New Teftament, illuftrating the fenfe we have put 

upon the word fTri. Matt. iv. 4. Matt, xviii. 5, 

Matt. X. 24. Mark, xi. i8. Luke, i. 14.29. 

59. Luke, ii. 20. 33. 47. Luke, iii. 19, ao. 

Luke, iv. 22. 32. Luke, v. 5. 9. Luke, ix. 

43. 48, 49. Luke, xiii. 7. Luke, xv. 7. 10. 

Luke^ xix. 41. Luke, xx. 26. Luke, xxiv. 

25. A6ls, iii. ic, 16. Afts, iv. 9. 21. A6ls, 

v. 35. A6ts, viii. 2. A6ls, xi. 19. Ads, 

xiii. 12, Ads, XV. 30, 31. Ads, xx. 38. 


Supplemental Dissertation. iSf 

A&Si xxvi. 6. Rom. v. 2. Rom. vi. 204 
Rom. viii. 20. i Cor. i. 4. 1 Cor. viii. 2^ 
I Cor. ix. 10. I Cor. xiii. 6. i Cor. xiv. 164 
I Cor. xvi. 17. 2 Cor. i. 4. 2 Cor. vii. 4. 7. 
cum multis aliis. 

The above examples are full to our prefent 
purpofe. The prepofition fTT*, in all of them, is 
joined with the dative cafe, and has exadly 
the fame force I have given it in the text under 
confideration 3 that is to fay, it ftands to denote 
the occafional caufe of the things fpoken of, or that 
hy whichy through which^ upon which^ in confequeuce 
of which ^ they are as they are there reprefented 
to be. 

It is true, I do not make the relative w, in my 
way of confl:ru<5lion, to agree with either ai/OpwTro?, 
or Gavarof, the only foregoing fubftantives. But 
this is an objedlion of no weight; becaufe it may 
as well have for antecedent the immediately 
preceding fentence. It may be worthy of fpeciai 
notice here, the phrafe, i(p w, is ufed by the 
apoftle Paul in three places befides this we are 
illuftratingj and, in all of them, the prepofi- 
tion, £<?>, has the fame meaning I have given it 
here: and, in like manner, the relative, w, 
grammatically agrees, not with a precedingy^^- 
ftantive^ hux. fentence. 

The firfl inftance to this purpofe we have in 
a Cor. V. 4. " For we that are in this tabernacle 
do groan, being burthened -, not for that we 


aSS Supplemental DissERTAtioF?* 

would [£(? w ov OfAo/*£v] be unclothed, but clothed 
upon, that mortality might be fwallowed up of 
life." Thc^pafTage may, I think, more con- 
fiftently with the true force of £(p coy be rendered 
thus : " For we that are in this tabernacle do 
groan, being burdened : not that we would upon 
THIS [upon being thus burdened] be unclothed, 
but clothed upon." — As if the Apoftle had faid, 
We who are in the body do groan, being prefled 
under the weight of many infirmities and trials : 
not that we defire upon this, upon the account 

OF OUR being thus BURDENED, tO bc UUClothcd 

by putting off our bodies; but our defire rathef 
is, that we may be clothed from above, may put 
on celeftial bodies, that fo what is mortal, and 
therefore liable to thefe burdens and forrows, 
may be fwallowed up of life that is immortal, and 
not obnoxious to any of thefe infelicities *. If we 
thus make the words, " being burdened," ante- 
cedent to w, and conftrue e:^, the prepofition 
joined with it, upon, an eafy and intelligible 
fenfe is given to this whole fentence ; which, as 
it lies in the common tranflation, is certainly 
difficult and perplexed. And, in this way of 
conftruftion, the prepofition, zg, has precifely 

• The following words of Ckment of Alexandria are an 
evident al.ufion to this text, and perhaps clearly (hew, that he 
took it in the fenfe we have put upon it; *' »?/xa«5 yap r=>ofo/i(«» 

For we do groan, beinc; defirous to bc clothed upon with in« 
corruptible things, before we put ofF corruption.'* 



the fame meaning as in the above numerqus 

Dr. "Taylor fays, [Scrip L Bc5i. i of .Origwal 
Shh page 52.] " f<p w To me times fee ttis to be 
*' ufed abfolutely, wichout an .anteced;;nt5 ^nd 
^' then it may be underftood condiLionally :" 
in proof of which he.brings this text^ and renders 
it thus: " For we that are in this tabernacle do 
^^ groan, being burdened : . f(p w ou OsAo/xe!/, "xiih 
^^ this reJlri^fioHy ov fo far^ that we would not be 
^* unclothed [no, that is not the only, or ulti- 
^* mate objed of our defire], but clothed 
" upon." In anfwer whereto it may be ob- 
ferved, the phrafe, stp w, is never ufed in the 
New Teflament without an antecedent^ either 
expreifed, orunderflood. It may look as though 
Matt, xxvi. 20. was an example to the contrary. 
Our Saviour there fays to Judas, ^' £Ta(p£, i(p &> 
TTocfii^ Friend, wherefore art thou come?'* 
E<p CO is here well rendered "wherefore:" but 
then it means the fame thing with /';; qtio^ ad 
qiiidi as the Latin verfions have it, for what ^ to 
what purpofe ? The relative w agrees here wich 
Trpxy^jiocTi undcrftood. This condrudlion, there-^ 
fore, is without a precedent in the New Tcila- 
ment writings, unlefs in Philip, iii. 12, or iv. 10. 
which we fhall have occafion to confider pre- 
fently. And it has this farther objeiflion lying 
againfl: it, that it does not feem eafy and natu- 
ral. One muft attend pretty clofely, now Dr. 
1'aylor has given this conllrudion, to underftand 

U the 

igo Supplemental Dissertation. 

the precife thought he would make the Apoftlc 
conveys and, perhaps, it will require ftill greater 
attention to underftand the grammatical reafon he 
grounds it upon. The meaning of the Apoftle, 
as I apprehend, is very obvioufly this ; the bur- 
dens with which he, and the Chriftians he wrote 
to, were prefled, excited in him and them a 
defire of death : not that they defired death 
it would be an unclothing them, a putting off 
their bodies ; but their defire rather was, that 
they might be clothed upon with heavenly and 
immortal bodies. 

Another inflance we meet with in Philip, iii. 
12. " Not as though v/e had already attained, 
either were already perfeft: But I follow after, 
if that I may apprehend that for which aHb I am 

apprehended [n xat yiCirocXcx.Q<a, f^ « xarfX^i^Grjv,] 

of Jefus Chrifl." This tranflation, you obferve, 
fuppiies the demonftrative pronoun touto, thaf, 
and makes it antecedent to the relative w. The 
fenfe it conveys is juft; and it gives the prepo- 
fition, £^, the fame force I have all along been 
contending for. But ftill, as I imagine, the 
more proper antecedent to w is the immediately 
preceding fentence. Accordingly, I would render 
the pafTage thus : " I follow on, if fo be I alfo 
may apprehend : for which, on account of 
WHICH, I alfo was apprehended of Jefus Chrifl/' 
As if the Apoftle had faid, like a racer, in one of 


Supplemental Dissertation. 291 

the cxercifes you are well acquainted with, I 
prefs on towards the mark, if lb be I may lay 
hold of the prize *, for the sake of which -|- 
ON account of my laying hold of which, I 
alfo was fuddenly and marvelloufly caught, laid 
hold of by Jefus Chrifb, when on my journey 
towards Dmnafcus. 

What Dr. Taylor has offered upon this text 
does not appear to me to be wrote with that accu- 

• lti^e2idL oi apprehend, a derivative from the Latin, I have 
rather, in the above paraphrafe, made ufe of the words lay 
hold of, which are more plain to common readers; and, lo 
make the fenfe ftill more caf>', I have fupplied the Englifli 
word prize : though it Ihould be remembered here, there was 
no need of adding in the Greek the word Q^uQuovy which anfvvcrs 
to it; becaufe the verb KocxdXxQut being ufed here in ailulion to 
one of the known Grecian exercifes, evidently implied it. The 
Apofile, in thi?, and the two following verfes, compares him- 
felf to a racer that had not already obtained the prize, but was 
running that he might, in the end, lay hold of it. Jt is ob- 
fervable, the words ^^uku h xa.ra?^x^u, in this 12th verfe, mean 
the fame thing with xara c-xottov cnjxu-tTit Crc.Csiov, in the 14th 
verfe : and though in the one, the Apoftle leai^es out Qpu'^n^^', 
and in the other, koliuT^ouQu ; yet he is as readily underltood .ns 
if ihefe words had been inferteJ. Compare the ufe of 7.aiA.^x;L> 
and xctiay^iyi^'Savu in this 12th verfe, with the ufe of them, i Ccr. 
i:<, 24, and it will be feen that they are ufed in the cg'^nijl-cal 

f Since the writing the above, I find, that Btxa ?!nd Era/- 
mus Schmidiuss have given the like conHrudlicn to i^p w in this 
place; rendering it, ** cujus rei caufa." Woljius follows them 
herein. His tranflation of the paflage is this ; '* Scd pcrfeqnor, 
*' ut eiiam ipfe apprehendam : cujus rei caufa ctiam apprehen- 
** fus fum a Jefa Chiifto." But I follow after, that I alfo may 
apprehend: for which thing's sake [that is, that I might 
jb»$ appreheiidj I alfo was apprehended by Jefus Chrift. 

U 2 racy 

292 Supplemental Dissertation. 

racy of judgment which he has often difcovered 
upon other occafions. He tranflates it thus; 
*' that I may apprehend as far as that for which I 
alfo am apprehended j" very evidently applying 
two different meanings to the propofition, £<?, at 
one and the fame time, namely, as far as, and 
fir. He has done the fame in the paraphrafe he 
has added explanatory of his tranflation. It runs 
thus; *' that I may lay hold of happinefs in that 
high and excellent fenfe, that furtheft reach and 
extent, for the attaining of which Jefus Chrifl: 
hath laid hold of me.'* Had he only faid, " that 
I may lay hold of happinefs, for the attaining of 
which Jefus Chrift hath laid hold of me," he 
would have conflrued £<p w juft as I do: whereas, 
according to his paraphrafe, and tranQation alfo, 
he has fo conflrued it as to give the prepofition, 
i(py two very different meanings. But, without 
faying any thing further, I leave it with the in- 
telligent reader to judge, whofe tranflation of 
thefe words is moft eafy and natural, his or 

The lafl inflance we have in Philip, iv, 10. 
Evocpy]y ^£ bv Kuptw ireyooXux;, on Yi^n ttots ccvs^ocXirs. ro 

VTTfp EUOV (ppOVZiUy £(p U XCCl i(ppOV£ir£f r\X0ilpH(7^B $£, 

" But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly, that now, at 
the lafl, your care of me hath flouriihed again, 
wherein ye were alfo careful, but ye lacked op- 
portunity." So our tranilators have given the 
fenfe, making the relative w to agree with Trpay- 
fj.octi underfloodi whereas, it ought rather, as I 


Supplemental Dissertation, 293 

imagine, to have for antecedent the immediately 
preceding fentence. 

I cannot give you a clearer icka of the true 
meaning of this text, than in the words of an in- 
genious friend, particularly well verfed in the 
Greek, who, upon reading my conftrudion of 
f(p w, was pleafed to approve of it, and fend me 
his thought upon 'Philip, iv. lo, as an obfervable 
illuftration of it : Says he, " The Englijh tranjla- 
" tors have made fad work with this text, and fo, 
" indeed, has the old Latin tranflation, and Beza 
*^ too, as well as Erafmus [though this laft comes 
" much the neareft to the Apoftle's meaning], by 
'' not attending to the full force of the metaphor 
*' in ai/f0aA£Tf, and to the to (ppovetv. They have 
*^ tranflated it as though the text was ayi^xXin 
*^ Tco (ppovEiv^ and not to (ppovn\> : the former of" 
" which implies the revival of their care and 
*^ concern; the latter, their receiving frefli vi- 
^^ gour and life in order to fhew forth their care 
«f and concern, like a tree that had for fometime 
*^ been without fruit, and, as it were, dry and bar- 
** ren, but now puts forth buds and leaves in or- 
" der for fruit. Upon which, fays the Apoftle, 
'^ Ye did really concern yourfelves for me." The 
" Philippians had been the firft in their bounties 
*^ to him, ver. 15.; and had feveral times, while 
<* he was at TheJJalonica^ adminiftered to his wants: 
'^ but it had been now fome time fince he had 
" heard from them in this way, and rejoiced by 
^[ finding from what he had received from the 
U 3 " hands 

a94 Supplemental Dissertation. 

<^ hands oVEpaphroditus^ that it was only a want 
** of opportunity which prevented their fending 
" before. A metaphor is a fxmile in one ward 5- 
*' and, I think, this is, therefore, the honeft 
" meaning of the text, *' I rejoiced greatly in 
<' God, that, at length, like a tree which had, 
" for fome time, appeared to be dry and lifelefs, 
" but had (liot out anew in order for fruit, ye 
'-^ have again put forth the buds of love and af- 
«^ fedion for me; nor was it a fair fhew of blof- 
*' foms only, but from them have proceeded 
*' thofe fruits which I have now received, and 
" muft attribute my not receiving them fooner to 
" your want of opportunity." The tranflation of 
«' the text, from whence you may judge whether 
*^ the above is not the fair fenfe of it, is word for 
" word thus : " I rejoiced greatly in the Lord, 
<^ that, at length, ye budded anew to concern 
•" yourfelves for me 5 upon which ye did concern 
'* yourfelves, but wanted an opportunity." 

I fhall not think it improper to add here a 
couple of paflages from Clement of Alexandria^ 
in which the phrafe, ip w, or ok, is ufed exactly 
as I have conftrued it in the above citations from 
the apcftle Paul, 

The firft is to be met with, Paidag, lib. 2. in 
thele words, AAA* gtocj ttodij ^opc:^* xaAft rovg 

TTT^iSVAU^, Zip W ^«A»(7Ta ieiTTl/QV TTOirjTEOU. Btlt VshCH 

you make an entertainment^ invite the foor^ on 
WHJCK ACCOUNT [that is, on account of the 
poor'ii being invitedj, chiffly a /upper is to be wade. 


Supplemental Dissertation. 295 

The i(p here, as in the above places, has the force 
of an occafional caufe » and the w agrees with the 
whole preceding member of the fentence. 

The other we have in Strom. 2, and runs thus, 

rn yvvoiiyii^ tcov ^e aA^idcov xoci na^Xcov ny,sXy\(riv ; ftp oi<: 
^UY\rov oi^ocvecrov Qiovj ocXX ov^ sj? rsXo;^ av^vTrnWoi^ocro. 
For he (Adam) following his wifcy willingly chofe 
things that were bafe^ and difregarded thofe that were 
true and fair \ in consequence of which [of 
which choice and difregard] he exchanged an im- 
mortal life for one that was mortal, though not finally. 
I need not fay, that the conftrudion of i(p oj? is 
precifely the fame as in the above text, this is fo 
obvious upon the fmalleft attention. 

It would be eafy to fill a great number of 
pages with inftances, from other authors befides 
the facred ones, in which the prepofition £(p, 
efpecially as joined with «, or a like relative, is 
ufed in the very fenfe I have taken it. A few 
only Ihall fuffice for a fpecimen : Tot? /^fv 

XocfA^oiVovtriv apyvpiov avocyKOii oy kttii/ ocTrBpyx^Eo-Qcci 
TouTo, £(p 00 fAicT^ov Xoi[ji.Qoiuii)<riv, It is necejjary thofe 
who receive money ^ fhould perform the thing for 
WHICH, ON ACcoiTNT OF WHICH, they are reward- 
ed, Xenophon. nuGojafj/oi £7r oj? nX^ov. Being afked 


ifTtiv i(p or 00 ocv oifjt,cc^uixoct iVTrXom. ^hcrc is nothing 


whili I am fo fkafantly failing, Lucian. n s-m 


i^S Supplemental Dissertation. ' 

itoXa' 7]ixoyy,(ric: On ACCOUNT o^ v/niCH I have 

toihd TAUch, Homer. E^^ oi^' r^nTiv avtv rojv a,X?^ui/ 

three, without the other children of Adam, it is /aid. 
Clement of Alexandria, O cs [/.iroivccoy oukiti ruv 

a'jruu aTTTiroa Trpccyfj^ccroou^ £(p oig uetccvoyiO-s. He that 

repenteth^ meddleth no more with thofe things 
WHICH were the OCCASION of his repentance. 

It is, perhaps, by this time, fnfficiently evi- 
dent, that the conftru6tion we have given to the 
words, £(p w 'Try.yri; \i/.oLprov^ is wcll authorifed by 
a like ufe of the prepofition f^, and of the phrafe 
£9 w. Nor is the fenfe that this conilrudlion 
offers, intricate or trifling; but eafily intelli- 
gible, and vaftly important. Thofe words, " all 
have finned," mean precifely the fame thing 
here, as when the ApoHle fays, chap. iii. 9. 
*^ all are under fin i'* and again, ver. 19. ** all 
the world are become guilty before God;" and 
yet again, ver. 23. "all have finned:" only, 
in the text we are upon, according to the fenfe 
I have put upon it, the ApoRle lets us into the 
true original four ce^ or occaftonal caufe^ of this uni- 
verfal defciflion ; namely, the lapfe of the one 
man, Ad^niy through which, deaths with its fore- 
runners and appendages, is come upon all men^ 


*' have all finned" in their own perfons; as they 
mud do, if they are juflly, or even intelligibly, 
f hargcable wich having finned at all. 

Supplemental Dissertation. 1297 

It may, perhaps, feem flrange to fome, if the 
Apoftle is here fpeaking of men's having finned 
in their own perfons (as my interpretation fup- 
pofes), that he fliould fay " all have finned,'* 
meaning mankind univerfally, the whole human 
races when vaft numbers of them had not then 
come into exiftence, and multitudes that had, 
were incapable of thus finning, as they had not 
arrived to a capacity of moral afiion. But the 
difficulty upon this head will all vanifh, if it be 
remembered, that it is no unufual thing to find 
that fpoken of in Scripture, as already come into 
fa5l^ which in tir,ie certo.inly will do fo. So it is faid 
of our Saviour, Heh, ii. 8. " Thou haft put all 
things in fubje6lion under his feetj'' though it is 
added in the latter part of the fame verfe, " we 
fee not yet all things put under him." So, in the 
verfe we are upon, it is faid of '^ all men,'' that 
" death hath pafled upon them;" and it is thus 
faid of them, becaufe this, in time, will be the 
real truth of faft with reference to them. In 
like manner, it is faid of " all men," that 
" they have finned ;" and it is thus faid of them, 
becaufe, as they become capable of moral action, 
they will certainly be guilty of 7?;/, at lead fo far 
as not to be able to oi^am jujlijication upon the foot 
of law. The truth is, mankind, the whole hu- 
man race, by reafon of the lapfe of the one man, 
Adaniy are in fuch a ftate, as that they may be 
fpoken of, in the virtual and conftrudive fenfe, 
both as dead men and finners : and they are ac- 

19^ Supplemental Dissertation^ 

cordingly thus fpoken of by the apoftle Paul. 
He not only fpeaks of '^ death's having palTed 
upon thena," of their being '^ all dead j'* but of 
their " having all finned." And he thus fpeaks 
of thena, and with propriety and juftice too, 
becaufe it is as certain, in confequence of the 
lapfe, that they will all turn out Jtnners in the eye 
of Jfri^ lawy as that they will fall by the flroke 
of death. 

The fenfe we have given thofe important 
words, in the 12th verfe, £(p w ttcci^te; •ni^a^rovy 
namely, whereupon, upon which, all have 
fmnedy will readily lead us into a juft conception 
of thofe parallel ones, in the 19th verfe, <^ia r^q 

vo^Xoi, By one marCs difobedience, many [the many, 
or all menj were made finnersy They " were 
made finners," How ? By their own wicked 
choice, in consequence of that conflitution of 
God, which took rife from " the difobedience of 
the one man, Adam^^ and fubjedled them to a 
life of toil and forrow^ ending in death. The 
Apoftle certainly means the fame thing in this 
J9th verfe, when he fays, " by the difobedience 
of one, the many are made finners •," as when 
he fays, in the 12th verfe, " and thus, in this 
way, death hath pafled upon all men, where- 
upon, upon which, in consequence of which, 
all have finned." If therefore the interpretation 
we have given of the 12th verfe be juft, fo alfo 
is this of the icth verfe. And, in truth, this 
:* , firft 

Supplemental Dissertation.^ 299 

firfl: claufe in the 19th verfe, is nothing more 
than a repetition of the latter part of the com- 
parifon begun, but left unfinifhed, in the 12th 
verfe; in like manner as the firft claufe of the 
foregoing i8th verfe, is a repetition of the former 
part of that fame comparifon : for which reafon, 
the former part of this 19th verfe, and the latter 
part of the 12th, mufl mean precifely the fame 
thing J as I have made them to do. And it is 
obfervablc, in this v/ay of interpretation, I not 
only make out a clear and ftrong connection be- 
tween the i2ch and the i8th and 19th verfes, 
which anfwer to it, and refume and complete the 
comparifon that was there begun ; but give the 
phrafes, ^' all have finned," and " the many are 
made finners," their full natural force, and can- 
not be complained of for making/;/, by an harfti 
metonymy, to fignify mortality, 

I have yet further to fay in fupport of the in* 
terpretation I have put upon tp w Trocvrtg nfji^otpTov^ 
and the parallel palTage ^ix rvig Trx^pccKong rov n/o; 

av9/5W7rou oci^oipToXot KOCT£<rrcx,^n(rocv ttoXXqi, that it well 

conneds the feveral parts of the paragraph m 
which thefe words are found, not only with one 
another, but with the foregoing difcourfe. 

It makes out a good connexion between this 
paragraph and the foregoing context. For, let 
it be obferved, this 12th verfe, together with the 
i8th and 19th, are introduced with ^ixrovro^ and 
ccpoi otji/, to fignify their being brought in as a 
proof or illuftration of the preceding nth verfe, 
3 whfl^ 


where the Apoflle had faid, " by whom [Jefus 
Chrift] we have now received the reconcilia- 
tion *," the reconciliation before fpoken of in 
the loth verfe; that is, a reconciliation " when 
we were enemies," and enemies by being *' un- 
^dly," and " Tinners," verfe 6. 8. as if the 
Apoflle had faid, I jufl: now obferved, that by 
Jesus Christ we have reconciliation with 
God 5 and it \s> for this reafon f that " the free 
gift by the righteoufnefs of one is come upon all 
men to juftification j" namely, becaiife it was in 
fuch a way,i;/z. " by the offence of one, that judge- 
ment came upon all men to condemnation." The 
view of the Apoflle, in thefe connedling particles, 
is to introduce a proof of the credibility, the fit- 
nefs, the reafonablenefs, of what he had faid in 
the nth verfe, namely, that *' we have received 

* Dr. Doddridge juftly obferves, " The word Ka.ra>,>xcyn 
** here, has fo apparent a reference ta xocrr)7^oc.yviM>iv and kcitccK- 
** XayevTiq in the preceding verfe, that it is furprifing it (hould 
•* have been rendered by fo different a word in our 'verjion ; 
•* efpecially as it is fo improper to fpeak of our receiving an 
** atonementy which God receives as made for our fins." 

\ The Englijh phrafe that mod exaftly anfwers the true im- 
port of the Greek one ^»a touto, is, as I apprehend, for this 
€aufe or reafon. There is always an argumentative connexion 
between the difcourfe that goes before, and that follows 
after, this demonftraiive pronoun ; and its proper ufe is, to 
point out the r^/z/ow, caufe^ or ^rc»«^of this connedlion. Only, 
it ought to be well minded, the caufe or nafan of this connec- 
tion is fometimes ^o be found in what goes before oi-6 tci'Io, 
and fometimes in what follows after it. It is ufed heie in the 
Jatter fenfe. 
.M^: . recoa- 

Supplemental Dissertation, 301 

reconciliation/* and have received it " by Jefus 
Chrift/' The thought he would convey is 
plainly this : It is reafonable, as the change from 
a ftate o^ righteoufnefs and life to a ftate o^ Jin and 
death was made by one man, that a change back 
again from this ftate o( fin and death to a (late of 
right eoufnefs and life^ fliould like wife be made by 
ONE MAN 5 the llrefs being evidently laid upon 
this, that each of thcfe changes, great as they 
were, and univerfil in their confequences, was 
effeifled by one single person. 

Dr. "Taylor, in his Script. Bo5i, of Original Sin, and 
in his Paraphrafs and Notes on the Epijlle to the 
Romans, very juftly fuppofes, that this 12th verfe, 
and the whole paragraph of which it is a part, 
were introduced as " an illudration of, or further 
enlargement upon, what the Apoftle had been fay- 
ing of our reconciliation to God hy Jefus Chrifl :'* 
Upon which I would afl<:, what coherence is there 
between this do(^rine of reconciliation to Gcd by 
Jefus Chrifi, and his explanation of f<p w Trxvr^q r^i^^ccp- 
roM ? For, let it be obferved, the objefls of this 
reconciliation are exprefsly confidered by the 
Apoftle, in the loth verfe, as *^ enemies j" yea, it 
was " when they were enemies," and enemies by 
being " ungodly," and fmners," ver. 6. 8. that 
they '^ were reconciled by the death of Chrift." 
Now, what light does it refled upon this recon^ 
ciliation for the Apoftle to tell us, as Dr. Taylor 
would underftand him, that we «fe *'* fufferers as 
far as death," by reafon of the lapfe of the one 


302 Supplemental Dissertation. 

man, Adam ? Merely our being " thus fufFerers,*' 
is a thought noways adapted, either to explain or 
confirm a reconciliation that is grounded on our 
being " enemies^" and enemies by being " un- 
godly," and ^' finners * :" whereas the interpret- 

• I am fenfible Dr. Taylor fuppofes, as Mr. Loch did before 
him, that the epithets, <without JiretJgth, ungodly , Jinnors^ and 
enemies, ia \\vz 6th, 8tb, and loth verles, are Vi^^d with refpeft 
to the Gentiles only ; and that the reconciliation treated of re- 
lates alfo to their redemption from their heathen flate : But this 
I efteem a certain miftake, and a miftake too that quite fpoih 
the connection of the Apoftle's words, both with the prececir.g 
and fubfequent parts of his difcourfe. 

We have already feen, that, according to ths true intent of 
the Apoftle's reafoning, for three chapters together, Je^ws as well 
as Gentiles were ** all under fin ;" that ** the whole world were 
guilty before God;" that" all," that is, mankind univerfslly, 
'* have finned, and come fhort of the glory of God." Why 
then fhould the charadlers, without Jirength^ ungodly, Jinners, and 
enemies f be reftrained to the Gentiles only? What reafon is 
there for fuch a limitation ? Is there any thing more aflirmed in 
thefe epithets, if applied to mankind univerfaily, thnn the 
Apoftle had befoie affirmed concerning them, and largely proved 
too? And when he had been at the pains to prove, by a longi 
thread of laboured argument, tha' Jeius as well as Gentiles^ yea, 
that the 'vchale nvorld, ell men, n.uere become guilty be/ore God^ 
why (hould we break the continuity of his difcourfe by confin- 
ing the charatSlers ungodly^ Jtnners, and enemies^ to the Gentiles 
only ? Surely, we ought rather to underlland them in an exten* 
(ive fenfe, fo as to take in mankind univerfaily. 

And by this confined interpretation of thefe charailers, and the 
reconciliation that relates to them, their connedlion with the/ol- 
hiving, as well as foregoing context, will be greatly hurt ; for it 
is obfervable the Apoftle, in this 12th and following verfes to the 
end of the chapter, is not treating of any thing peculiar to th« 
GentileSi but of that which concerns mankind in common ; ac- 

Supplemental Dissertation. 303 

ation we have given of f^ « TrxvrBg r.fxccpTouy is 
direftly calculated to lead our thoughts up to the 
proper fource of the abfolute need we flood in of 
this reconciliation ; for we are told, not only that 
^'' fin and death are entered into the world/' by 
the one man, Adam\ but to let us know that we 
arc deeply interefted in thefe difadvantages, we 
are further alTured that we are both mortal and 
finfuly and that our becoming thus mortal and 
finful took rile from the one man Adamy chough 
in a different way, according to \\\^ different na- 
tures of fin and death, as has been before ex- 

The interpretation we are juftifying, makes out 
a good connection alfo between the feveral parts 
of the paragraph itfelf to which it is related. In 
order to our taking in a juft conception of this, 
let it be obferved. 

The Apollle, having wrote the 12th verfe, in- 
terpofeth a long parenthefis, reaching to the i8th 
verfe, in which, among other things, he confiders 

qiiaititing us, that " death hath pafTed," not upon the Geniiles 
only, but ** upon all men;" and that " ail/' not the Gentiles 
only, *' have finned:" at the fame time pointing our thoughts 
to liie cne man, Adam, as the true fource thereof, And 
as the illiiftration of the foregoing context, in this 12th verfe, 
and onwards to the end of the chapter, is exaflly fuited to the 
&2L\.Q o\ mankind univer/aliyy ?nd not to the fi.i.':e of the Centilt 
ivorld only, we are herefrom evidently tauoh:, that the charac- 
ters in the foregoing context are to be applied, not to 2^ part of 
mankind only, but to the pcjlerity of Adum, throughout all 

304 Supplemental Dissertation. 

the lapfe hy Adam^ and the gift through Chrijl ; and 
gives the advantage to the latter^ for that it ex- 
ceeds^ overflows, firetches beyond iht former ^ ver. 15, 
16, 17. And having interpofed this thought, he 
returns, in the i8th verfe, to the comparifon he 
had begun, but left unfinilhed in the 12th: 
*^ Therefore, as by the offence of one, judgment 
^' came upon all men to condemnation j even fo, 
*^ by the righteoufnefs of one, the free-gift came 
" upon all men unto juftification of life. For as 
«* by the difobedience of one, many were made 
*' Tinners, fo by the obedience of one, many fhall 
*' be made righteous." As if the Apoftle had faid, 
'^ By the offence of oney* it muft be affirmed the 
judicial adl, " in forrow fhalt thou eat bread, till 
thou return unto the ground,'* is come upon all. 
But then, as a counter-part to this damage, it 
mud be affirmed alfo, that the free-gift by the 
righteoufnefs of one is come upon all j fo come 
upon all, as that they are made capable of attain- 
ing to the y?//?//^*;^//^;/ <?/ ///<?. And this is highly- 
credible 5 for as, by the difobedience of one, the 
many, or all men, in confequence of a divine 
conftitution, occalioned by this difobedience, 
and fubjedling them to a frail mortal flate, are 
lecoviie fmmrs \ even fo, by the obedience of one, 
the fame many, or all men, in confequence of an 
oppofite conftitution grounded on this obe- 
dience, are capable of becoming rightesus perfons j 
and as fuch fubjedively qualified for the juftifi- 
cation of life. 


Supplemental Dissertation. 305 

Conformably to this account of the Apoflle's 
words, the two difadvantages which were pointed 
out in the 12th verfe, as taking rife from the one 
offence of the one man Adamy namely, death and 
fiUy are again diRinftly anu feparately mentioned 
in the i8th and 19th verfes, as they ought to be 
in the repetition of a begun but unfinifhed com- 
parifon. And the two cppofde advantages^ through 
the one man Jefus Chrift, which complete the 
comparifon, are, in like manner, life and right- 
eoufnejsi as indeed they fhould be, being counter- 
parts to the death and fm to which they are op- 

In this view of the paragraph, its feveral parts 
perfedlly harmonize with each others and, what 
may be worth obferving, the connefling particle 
7«^, fory which introduces the 19th verfe, has its 
proper force and emphafis, and makes this verfe, 
as it ought to do, a reafon^ and a very good one 
too, of that which immediately preceded : where- 
as, if the phrafes a^a^rwAoi >carfo-ra9>]o-a:/, and 
J'ixaiot xaTao-TctGjio-o^raj, are interpreted, as Mr, Locke 
and Taylor interpret them, in the metonymical 
fenfe, this 19th verfe will exhibit no reafon at all 
of the foregoing i8th verfe, though infeparably 
joined with it by the particle yx^y or for ^ but will 
be a mere tautology. For if, by all men being 
" made finners," through the difobedience of 
Adarriy and their being ^* made righteous" throuo-h 
the obedience of Ghrift, nothing more is meant 

X than 

3o6 Supplemental Dissertation^ 

than their being " made mortal," or " fufferers as 
far as death," and *' being reftored back again to 
iifej" this 19th verfe containing thefe words, can- 
not be a reafon of the 18th. According to this 
fenfe of thofe phrafes'/the fame thing is only re- 
peated in the 19th verfe, which had been affirmed 
in the i8th -, and the 19th verfe, inftead of being 
a reafofiy or argument^ illuftrating and confirming 
the 1 8th (as it ought to be, to give the con- 
necting yoL^ its juft force), is a needlefs repetition 
of one and the fame thing; as it is really made 
to be in the paraphrafes of both the above-named 
expofitors : nor, as I imagine, could it have been 
otherwife^ according to their conftru6lion of the 

In (hort, it fliould feem indifputably evident, 
that thefe verfes (the 18th and 19th) are brought 
in to complete the comparifon between /^dam and 
Chrijly which was begun, but left unfiniOied in 
the 1 2th; confequently, 2i^ fin and death are the 
two grand difadvantages on Jdam's fide of the 
comparifon in the 12th verfe, the fame dfadvan- 
(ages muft be meant in the repetition of the comr 
parifon in the i8th and 19th verfes 5 which being 
fo, the advantages on Chrift's fide of the compa- 
rifon, as they are counter-parts to the difadvan- 
tages on Adam's, fide, muft mean life and rigbte- 
cufnefs anfwering to death and ftn^ to which they 
are oppofed. In this view of the paragraph, its 
fcyeral parts are not only beautifully and ftrongly 


Supplemental Dissertation. 307 

conne^led with each other, and with the imme- 
diately foregoing context, which confiders the 
objeds of the " reconciliation by Jefus Chrift" as 
" ungodly, finners, and enemies i" but with the 
main defign of the whole preceding epiftle, the 
tendency of which is to fliew, that Jews as well as 
Gentiles^ the whole worlds all men, zTtftmers^ and 
guilty before God; and, upon that account, inca- 
pable o^juftification upon the foot of mere law. 

I fhall only add what ought to be heedfully 
obferved; namely, that death and sin, the difad- 
vantages, in the Apoftle*s comparifon, by means 
of Adam's lapfe, being in their nature eflentially 
different, come upon mankind in a quite different 
way; and the fame may be faid, with equal truth, 
of the oppofite advantages, by means of the obe- 
dience of Chrifl, LIFE, and righteousness: being 
in their nature quite different, they are brought 
into effe6t in a quite different way. 

Death, being a natural difadvantage, may come 
upon mankind by the appointment or conflitu- 
tion of God, without the intervening confidera- 
tion of their own mifufed agency. In like man- 
ner, Jimple deliverance from death being a natural 
advantage, may, by alike conflitution of God, be 
fecured to the fame mankind without any regard 
had to their own well-ufed agency : and accord- 
ingly this is the real truth of the cafe, if we may 
depend upon the fcripture as a revelation from 
God. The human race come into the world un- 

X 2 dcr 

3oS Supplemental Dissertation. 

der the difadvantage of being fubje6ted to deathy in 
virtue of a divine conftitution, occafioncd solely 
by the " one offence" of the " one man" Adani : 
and they conne into exigence likewife under the 
advantage of an abfolute afliirance that they fhall 
bt delivered from deaths in virtue of a divine confti- 
tution, occafioned solely by the obedience of the 
one man Jefus Chrift. Deliverance from the 
power of the grave is as absolutely and cer- 
tainly the advantage even all men are under 
through Chrift, as fubjedlion to death is the ^z/-, 
advantage that has come upon them through 

But the cafe is quite different with refped to 
the other difadvantage through Adam, namely 
SIN ; and its oppofite advantage through Chrift, 
namely righteousness. Adam's lapfe became 
a difadvantage to all men with refpedt to sin . 
but how, in what way, did it become a difadvan- 
tage ? Evidently as, in confequence of his lapfe> 
they v/ere fubje6led to mortality in a world of 
toil, labour, and forrow ^ upon which, from 
whence, they would take occafion to become Tin- 
ners themfelves. The obedience of Chrift, on 
the other hand, is their advantage with refpeifl to 
the becoming righteous perfons. But how? 
Evidently as, in confequence of this obedience of 
his, and the conftitution of God grounded thereon, 
they are rendered capable, in a moral way (fuch 
an is adjufted to moral agent s)^ of becoming 


Supplemental Dissertation. 309 

RIGHTEOUS perfons j for it ought always to be 
kept in mind, that righteousness is as truly a 
moral good quality, as sin is a morally evil one: 
they are both conneded with perfonal agency y and 
abfolutely dependent on it. We can no more be 
made perfonally righteous by the righteoufnefs 
of another transferred to us, than we can be 
made finners by the fin of another, transferred 
in like manner : they are both moral impof- 
fthilities, and equally fo. That parr, therefore, of 
the advantage through Chrifl:, which confifts in 
our being made righteous ^ and in, this wav quali- 
fied, notfimply for life, but for an happy reign in 
life after we are delivered from death, efTentially 
fuppofes the ufe of means, and fuch too as are 
proper to be ufed with moral agents^ in order to 
their being formed, agreeably to their natures, in- 
to RIGHTEOUS perfons i or, what means the fame 
thing, a meetnefs for an eternal reign in happy 
life : and this at once lets into the true reafon of 
the eredion of the gofpel-kingdom, with all its 
means, privileges, bleffings, and motives; which, 
in any other view, would perhaps be quite unin- 

I may have been long and tedious in illuflrat- 
ing the above fcripture-pafTages f but if it fhould 
appear that they have been fet in a jufl and true 
light, an eafy forgivenefs might reafonably be ex- 
peaed ; efpecially as the fubjecl of them is in it- 
fclf highly important, and there is no fuch thing 
4 as 

Qio Supplemental Dissertation* 

as fully underftanding the apollle Paul in this, or 
indeed in any of his epiftles, without knowing his 
meaning with refpecl to our ft ate and circumftances 
in confequence of the lapfe of our firft father 
Adam I for the gofpel-falvation, as preached by 
hin:ij is cflentially conneded herewith. 


"Jujl imported from Boston, New England^ 

and written by the Author of the foregoing 

I. The Benevolence of the Deity, fairly and 
impartially confidered. In Three Parts. 870. 
Price 4s. in Boards. 

II. The Myftery hid from Ages and Genera- 
tions, made manifeft by the Gofpel-Reve- 
lation: or the Salvation of all Men, the 
grand Thing aimed at in the Scheme of God, 
as opened in the New Teftament- Writings, 
and entrufted with Jesu-s Christ to bring into 
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